Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Photonics, Optics and Lasers

Science and technology dealing with the transmission and manipulation of light

Showing 21 results for Photonics + Spectrum RSS
Laser beam-steering is a critical enabler for military and civilian applications including autonomous navigation, chemical-biological sensing, precision targeting and communications. Current beam-steering systems often rely on large, slow, opto-mechanical devices such as the optical gimbal. The gimbal, however, tends to be the largest, slowest and most expensive component in the optical system. Drawing on phased array concepts that revolutionized RADAR technology, the Short-Range, Wide Field-of-View Extremely agile, Electronically Steered Photonic Emitter (SWEEPER) program will develop a compact, agile alternative to mechanical beam-steering.
Our ability to detect and identify chemical and biological signals of interest is critical for security at home and abroad. While optical spectroscopy is a valuable tool in the laboratory, current technologies lack the sensitivity and broad spectral coverage needed to detect and distinguish among agents of interest given ubiquitous, dynamic background signals generated by common components in the atmosphere.
Conventional military radio frequency (RF) antenna systems typically employ coaxial cable as the signal conduit between the aperture and the transmit/receive electronics. For long cable lengths, high RF frequencies and wide bandwidths, the cable itself is a key limiter of signal fidelity and link efficiency. Coaxial cable bundles are also large and heavy, a critical drawback for mobile platforms. Photonic technologies, however, may provide low loss, reduced size and weight, immunity to electromagnetic interference, broad bandwidth and overall ability to remote antennas over distances not possible with conventional electronic approaches.
Program Manager
Dr. Joe Altepeter joined DARPA in the Defense Sciences Office in September 2019. His interests include quantum and quantum-inspired technologies, novel sensors and imaging systems, hyperspectral awareness, and the visualization of useful data from complex physical systems.
07/10/2020
MTO seeks to develop high-risk, high-reward technologies that enable revolutionary advances in materials, devices, and systems and continue DARPA's mission of creating and preventing strategic surprise. In order to capitalize rapidly on new opportunities, DARPA announces the Microsystems Exploration program which calls for faster responses with smaller, targeted investments. Microsystems Exploration awards will be made within 90 days of each Microsystems Exploration topic (μE) announcement.