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AIM Photonics Awarded $1.7M DoD Project

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The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a public-private partnership to advance the nation’s photonics manufacturing capabilities, has been awarded a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) government-directed project for photonic integrated circuits incorporating MWIR and LWIR sources.

The $1.7 million project will support a consortium of AIM Photonics members led by University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), including Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

The majority of development to date has focused on a relatively narrow wavelength range — around 1550 nm. The goal of this government-directed project is to address the opportunities at longer wavelengths.

“We are proud to partner with the DoD, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and our industrial members in the development of this critical technology,” said Michael Liehr, CEO of AIM Photonics. “The expansion into longer wavelengths is necessary to ensure our design and development infrastructure we have developed is state of the art and continues to address the additional requirements and key benefits of our integrated photonics manufacturing ecosystem.”

UCSB will take the lead as the main liaison for this public-private partnership, which incorporates MWIR and LWIR laser sources into the capability offerings of AIM Photonics. The expanded wavelength range will enable a variety of commercial and military applications, such as allowing sensors to be tuned to detect atmospheric trace gases for air-quality evaluation or hazard alerts.

“The extension of photonic integrated circuits to MWIR and LWIR wavelengths may be expected to strongly impact Navy systems,” said Jerry Meyer, senior scientist for Quantum Electronics at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. “They will be particularly valuable in systems requiring such advanced capabilities as IR power scaling, multispectral beam combining, high-resolution IR imaging, and chemical threat detection.”

Photonics Spectra
Oct 2018
BusinessAmerican Institute for Manufacturing Integrated PhotonicsAIM PhotonicsDepartment of DefenseGovernment Directed Projectphotonic integrated circuitslight sourceslaserspartnershipsfundingAmericaslight speed

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