A robust and compact photonic proximity sensor is developed for optical fuze in munitions applications. The design of the optical fuze employed advanced optoelectronic technologies including high-power vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), the p-i-n or metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) photodetectors, SiGe ASIC driver, and miniature optics. The development combines pioneering work and unique expertise at ARDEC, ARL, and Sandia National Laboratories and synergizes the key optoelectronic technologies in components and system designs. This compact sensor will replace conventional costly assemblies based on discrete lasers, photodetectors, and bulky optics and provide a new capability for direct fire applications. It will be mass manufacturable in low cost and simplicity. In addition to the specific applications for gun-fired munitions, numerous civilian uses can be realized by this proximity sensor in automotive, robotics, and aerospace applications. This technology is also applicable to robotic ladar and short-range 3-D imaging.