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Alpes Lasers to Supply QCLs to US Air Force Intelligence Project

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2017
ST. BLAISE, Switzerland — Advanced light source developer Alpes Lasers SA has been selected as a supplier and developer of broadband quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) by several chemical sensing companies working on the Standoff Illuminator for Measuring Absorbance and Reflectance Infrared Light Signatures (SILMARILS) program.

The SILMARILS program is part of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and is managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Alpes Lasers will develop new classes of QCLs providing high spectral power density and pulse energy in the fingerprint region of the mid-IR spectrum, which allows for specific identification of a large class of organic and non-organic chemicals such as chemical weapons, explosives, narcotics or biological agents.

“These contracts leverage Alpes' know-how as a worldwide leader in broad gain and high power QCLs to develop new products,” said Dr. Antoine Müller, CEO of Alpes Lasers. “The laser chips developed have the potential to be integrated into devices that will facilitate safety screenings in airports and can be used by law enforcement agencies worldwide.”

Phase 1 of the development is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.


GLOSSARY
quantum cascade laser
A Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) is a type of semiconductor laser that emits light in the mid- to far-infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Quantum cascade lasers offer many benefits: They are tunable across the mid-infrared spectrum from 5.5 to 11.0 µm (900 cm-1 to 1800 cm-1); provide a rapid response time; and provide spectral brightness that is significantly brighter than even a synchrotron source. Quantum cascade lasers comprise alternating layers of semiconductor...
Alpes Lasersquantum cascade laserSILMARILSU.S. Air ForceAmericasEuropeBusinesslaserslight sourcesSensors & Detectorslight speed

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