Pranalytica Wins U.S. Army Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Contract to Build on Powerful Quantum Cascade Laser Technology

Dépèche transmise le 10 novembre 2009 par Business Wire

Pranalytica Wins U.S. Army Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Contract to Build on Powerful Quantum Cascade Laser Technology

Pranalytica Wins U.S. Army Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Contract to Build on Powerful Quantum Cascade Laser Technology

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pranalytica, Inc. today announced that it has been chosen by the U.S. Army for the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) contract to radically improve Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) performance.

Pranalytica will concentrate its efforts on QCL developments in 3.5 to 4.2 μm and 8 to 12 μm regions using its recently developed novel QCL structure design concepts that afford unprecedented design freedom for performance optimization. Major application areas include free-space optical communications, LADAR (Laser Detection and Ranging), DIAL (Differential Absorption LIDAR), remote gas sensing and noninvasive medical diagnostics.

“We are excited to have been chosen for this contract,” said Dr. C. Kumar N. Patel, president and CEO of Pranalytica. “The principal objective is to leverage Pranalytica’s recent advances in QCL design and packaging technology made under DARPA’s (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) EMIL (Efficient Mid-Infrared Laser) program to radically improve QCL performance in other wavelength regions. The ultimate goal of the STTR will be to extend the world-leading QCL performance that Pranalytica already demonstrated at 4.6μm under the EMIL program to the 3.5 to 4.2 μm and 8 to 12 μm spectral windows. Full implementation of this proposal, including Phase II, will result in commercial availability of high-power, high-efficiency QCLs emitting in the 3.8-4.2 μm and 8-12 μm wavelength regions.”

The STTR program is a government-wide program, mandated by the Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992. Federal agencies with more than $1 billion extramural R&D budgets are required to administer STTR programs using an annual set-aside of 0.3 percent. As it has already done on several previous programs, Pranalytica is collaborating with Professor Federico Capasso’s group at Harvard University.

Pranalytica has extensive experience in the development of high performance QCLs. In addition to its own R&D efforts, Pranalytica is the prime contractor of one of the teams on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) EMIL project. In collaboration with Professor Capasso’s group, Pranalytica has developed 3-watt continuous-wave (CW), room temperature quantum cascade lasers emitting at 4.6μm during Phase I of DARPA’s EMIL program. As of today, this is the highest single-facet optical power reported for QCLs. Corresponding maximum wallplug efficiency is approximately 13 percent.

Based on this R&D success, Pranalytica has recently introduced a family of high-power fully packaged turnkey continuous wave (CW), room temperature (RT) QCL systems (1W, 1.5W and 2W) delivering collimated optical output power at 4.6μm. Due to their small size, low weight, low power consumption, high reliability and potentially low cost, these systems offer game-changing new capability for directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) and many other defense and national security applications.

Pranalytica has already supplied a number of 1W, 1.5W, and 2W versions of its fully packaged, continuous wave, room temperature turnkey Model 1101-46 QCL system since June 2008 to four of Tier 1 aerospace and defense contractors. Pranalytica is also supplying its customers a specially modified version of the high-power QCL for operation at cryogenic temperatures, where the Pranalytica QCLs provide in excess of 6 watts of continuous wave collimated power output. The responses from these customers have been uniformly positive.

Pranalytica is the world’s only supplier of complete, fully packaged, turnkey high-power QCL systems. Being an integrated laser designer and manufacturer, the company offers significant in-house capabilities to improve and modify their standard systems to meet diverse customer requirements, starting with the fundamental design of the quantum cascade laser and all the way through system-level features.

It has a proven track record in successfully commercializing the results of government sponsored R&D. Most notably, is has leveraged their laser R&D success under the DARPA EMIL program into commercial offerings. Less than one year ago, it began offering its Model 1101-46 commercial turnkey laser system producing one watt of CW/RT power at 4.6μm. Even today, this original system (already superseded by Pranalytica’s 2W offerings) exceeds the power level of any competing commercial systems by a substantial margin. The company further diversified its fundamental laser technology into cryogenic laser packages for DIRCM, as well as into handheld MWIR and LWIR illuminators for target designation and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) beacons.

These products are putting a heretofore unprecedented laser capability in the hands of Pranalytica’s customers, allowing rapid incorporation of the QCLs into systems applications.

About Pranalytica, Inc.

Pranalytica is a leading manufacturer of quantum cascade lasers and laser-based trace gas detection equipment for industrial, environmental, military, and security applications. More than 40 trace gas sensors manufactured by Pranalytica have been deployed in multiple customer locations in the United States, Europe and the Far East for a variety of industrial and environmental applications. The founder, president and CEO of Pranalytica, Dr. C. Kumar N. Patel, led all of the Physics and Materials Science Research effort at AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1981 to 1993. He has intimate knowledge of the laser needs of many of defense-related systems through his extensive involvement in a number of Washington-based committees. Dr. Patel has been a member of the Board of Directors of Newport Corporation for more than 20 years.

For more information, visit www.pranalytica.com.

Business Wire

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