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11 September 2008


QPC demos first high-power surface-emitting eye-safe laser

QPC Lasers Inc of Los Angeles suburb Sylmar, CA, USA, which manufactures high-power lasers for consumer, industrial, defense and medical markets, has completed its initial Department of Defense contract to develop and deliver high-power eye-safe surface-emitting diode pumps for directed-energy weapons applications. The firm has been invited to submit a proposal for a much larger follow-on contract.

QPC claims to be the first laser company to demonstrate such technology, which marries a unique surface-emitting laser design with capabilities in high-power long-wavelength ‘eye-safe’ diode arrays.

“Battlefield lasers using conventional diode pump technologies are prohibitively expensive and present hazards to the eyes of friendly personnel, severely limiting their utility,” says co-founder and CEO Dr Jeffrey Ungar.

The firm says that the milestone development is of key importance in the future of DoD high-energy laser applications because the technology enables the fabrication to be wafer-based and extremely cost effective.

“QPC’s demonstration points the way to a new generation of laser weaponry which combines the low cost of ‘wafer-scale’ manufacturing with beams that are 100,000-1,000,000 times less hazardous to our soldiers,” Ungar adds. “Besides directed-energy weapons, these chip-based lasers have great promise for other defense applications, including range-finding, covert/active illumination for surveillance, and remote sensing.”

Beyond these military applications, QPC is already shipping eye-safe-wavelength lasers to medical customers for dermatological and vein treatment applications. The firm says that it also sees great promise for eye-safe lasers in commercial applications such as welding and cutting, by eliminating the safety concerns and costs associated with existing industrial lasers such as YAG and fiber lasers.

See related items:

QPC wins $750,000 contract for high-power fiber-laser pump engines for airborne weapons

QPC raises $2m to expand production capacity

QPC’s product revenue and gross margin more than double year-on-year

Search: QPC High-power lasers Directed-energy weapons