Quantum cascade laser (QCL) systems are mature and at the vanguard of a new generation of products that support military applications such as Infrared Countermeasures (IRCM) and targeting. The demanding product requirements for aircraft platforms that include reduced size, weight, power consumption and cost (SWaP-C) extends to portable, battery powered handheld products. QCL technology operates throughout the mid-wave (MWIR) and long-wave (LWIR) infrared to provide new capabilities that leverage existing thermal imaging cameras. In addition to their suitability for aircraft platforms, QCL products are a natural fit to meet operator demands for small, lightweight pointer and beacon capabilities. Field-testing of high power, lightweight, battery operated devices has demonstrated their utility across a range of air and ground applications. This talk will present an overview of QCL technology and the Defense and Security products and capabilities that are enabled by it. This talk will also provide an overview of the extensive environmental and performance testing associated with products based on QCL technology.
First responders have the need to quickly assess a situation; Understanding if there are biological or explosive hazards
present can influence a plan of action. The need for real-time information, however, precludes most laboratory analysis
techniques. The requirement of not disturbing a sample until it is understood makes the problem even more challenging.
Visual identification can go a long way in assessing a threat, and now technologies in the mid-infrared (2 to 20 μm)
spectral region allow extending that "vision" into a spectral region known for its chemical identification capabilities.
This paper considers the fusion of tunable quantum cascade lasers with infrared focal plane arrays to create a true
chemical imager. Instrumentation is developed that allows real-time chemical analysis of residues and powders in a noncontact
fashion. Identification of explosive residues and biological powders are considered as examples of use of this
new technology for first responders. As opposed to many fielded technologies that allow only point detection of
substances, and often require many seconds to analyze a sample, mid-infrared chemical imagers provide context in
addition to sample analysis in real time. They are also ideal for image fusion techniques combining visual images with
chemical images from an infrared multispectral analysis. This type of chemical overlay on live video provides first
responders with a powerful tool for rapid threat assessment.