The tip of a photonic lantern is inspected with a microscope objective prior to the lantern’s being spliced to the high-power kW-class fiber.

Laser Technology and Applications

When NASA made history in 2013 with the longest laser communication link ever demonstrated (from a Moon-orbiting satellite to Earth), our group was behind the satellite's laser transmitter and the ground terminals' highly sensitive photon detectors that enabled the link. We have a long history of developing advanced solid-state, fiber, and diode laser technologies for the scientific and defense communities. Recently, our lasers have been key to enabling cutting-edge ladar systems that can map terrain with greater accuracy and area coverage rates, providing much needed capabilities in disaster relief efforts, such as the disaster mapping of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017. We are also creating cryogenic-laser-based illuminators for airborne sensors that can detect and track fast-moving objects with highly dynamic platform motion. Finally, we've led the laser community in developing beam-combining techniques for high-energy laser systems. Using these techniques, our fiber laser system have demonstrated record-breaking levels of beam brightness and near-ideal beam quality.

Featured Projects

The LASSOS display screen highlights the laser strike event in live sensor imagery on the left and generates a 3D model of the laser streak in Google Earth, right.
A system that detects laser beams being shone into the sky and alerts police of their source can help protect pilots and aircraft.

Advancing Our Research

Our Staff

View the biographies of members of the Laser Technology and Applications Group.