Through the utilization of scanning MEMS mirrors in ladar devices, a whole new range of potential military, Homeland Security, law enforcement, and civilian applications is now possible. Currently, ladar devices are typically large (>15,000 cc), heavy (>15 kg), and expensive (>$100,000) while current MEMS ladar designs are more than a magnitude less, opening up a myriad of potential new applications. One such application with current technology is a GPS integrated MEMS ladar unit, which could be used for real-time border monitoring or the creation of virtual 3D battlefields after being dropped or propelled into hostile territory. Another current technology that can be integrated into a MEMS ladar unit is digital video that can give high resolution and true color to a picture that is then enhanced with range information in a real-time display format that is easier for the user to understand and assimilate than typical gray-scale or false color images. The problem with using 2-axis MEMS mirrors in ladar devices is that in order to have a resonance frequency capable of practical real-time scanning, they must either be quite small and/or have a low maximum tilt angle. Typically, this value has been less than (< or = to 10 mg-mm<sup>2</sup>-kHz<sup>2</sup>)-degrees. We have been able to solve this problem by using angle amplification techniques that utilize a series of MEMS mirrors and/or a specialized set of optics to achieve a broad field of view. These techniques and some of their novel applications mentioned will be explained and discussed herein.
The integration of photonic clocking in microprocessors is anticipated to occur during the 2008-2012 high-volume manufacturing (HVM) cycle. Though photonic clocking can be achieved through electronic modulation or actively mode-locking a laser, a more cost-effective and better solution would be to use internal cavity passively mode-locked semiconductor lasers. Not only do these lasers offer low-cost, simplicity, and ease of integration, but prototypes that are amenable to HVM are currently available. We present such a laser that is scalable by design to clock rates of 9 to hundreds of GHz and wavelengths in the 800 to 1100+ nm range. These lasers utilize internal saturable absorber(s) to passively mode-lock a semiconductor laser with relatively high peak powers. Experimental results from these lasers show an RF spectrum signal peak that is at least 40 dB above the noise floor with a -10 dB width of <1 MHz. The RMS jitter as determined by an oscilloscope with a precision timebase module was found to be ~1 ps which is among the best for this type of laser. Autocorrelation was used to confirm mode-locking and pulse width. In addition to experimental data, a theory and discussion on how the different characteristics of these lasers can be tailored for various commercial applications such as microprocessor clocking will be presented.