Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Marketplace Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Vision Spectra Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook

Improving Defense, With Precision

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Comments

The 21st century battlefield is marked by distance and precision. Remote weapons systems, precision-guided munitions and weaponized vehicles that can be operated remotely are mainstays of the modern battle theater. This fundamental shift in the nature of warfare is due to seismic technological advances — many of them photonic. Today, organizations such as the European Defense Agency and Photonics21, the European technology platform, are working to improve defense capabilities for the future via tools like infrared imaging and optical communication systems. These and other advancing technologies in the defense sector throughout Europe are among many new tools aimed at protecting today’s armed forces.

Imaging devices such as thermal cameras are assisting soldiers on the battlefield; laser technology is enhancing weaponry; sensor systems are heightening surveillance, reconnaissance, and detection of weapons and other threats. Aiding these defense efforts are a growing list of photonics-focused companies. Among them are Poland-based optoelectronics and laser systems manufacturer PCO, which teamed up with American defense contractor Raytheon Co., to develop surveillance and sensor devices for the Polish military. In particular, their work has focused on enhanced night vision goggles, as well as advanced reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting devices, and IR systems development. And Mesko, a Polish military and defense ammunition manufacturer, has joined Raytheon Missile Systems in pursuit of opportunities for Poland’s air defense architecture and advanced defense technologies.

Air defense is the focus of contributing editor Hank Hogan’s “Airborne Optics to See and Strike” (read article), in which he details how infrared optics and spectrum-wide detectors are giving airborne imaging a boost. By increasing pixel counts and covering new swaths of the spectrum, the latest systems can peer through smoke and other obscurants at a high resolution. The emergence of more sophisticated precision-guided munitions has prompted enhancements to laser warning systems to protect assets and troops alike. The need for stealthier operations promises continued advances in detection and lasing materials. See Excelitas Technologies’ Eric Desfonds’ “Overcoming Precision-Guided Munitions, Sensing Challenges,” (read article).

On the homefront, safeguarding high-risk facilities and government agencies from explosives, weapons and biological agents is a top concern. In this installment of EPIC Insights, Jose Pozo examines the role of mid-IR spectrometers in remote detection of these and other threats. A pilot line is now set to offer open access to industry for prototype devices.

Also in this issue, contributing editor Marie Freebody examines recent advances in solar technology, from the development of smaller inverters with improved power/kg ratios, to improvements in the quality and longevity of solar modules. See “Solar Steps Up,” (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

Dec 2016
EditorialJustine Murphy

Photonics Spectra Optics Conference 2022
view all
back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2022 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA, [email protected]

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x We deliver – right to your inbox. Subscribe FREE to our newsletters.
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.