IRCM technology advance born from Northrop Grumman/Pranalytica partnership

Jan. 11, 2013
Apopka, FL--In partnership with quantum-cascade laser (QCL) manufacturer Pranalytica, Northrop Grumman announced a new high-performance ASALTT IRCM system.

Apopka, FL--In partnership with quantum-cascade laser (QCL) manufacturer Pranalytica (Santa Monica, CA), Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced a new variant of the current All Semiconductor Airborne Laser Threat Terminator (ASALTT) family of infrared countermeasure (IRCM) systems to protect fixed-wing and rotary military aircraft. The new ASALTT QCL module executed in collaboration with Pranalytica--who tailored the QCL properties and performance for this new design--will operate at 10 W in the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) spectrum, enabling real-time color ratio control and further diversifying the Technology Readiness Level 6 ASALTT family of laser systems.

Northrop Grumman calls this new QCL a "groundbreaking milestone" for IRCM technology. "It is through talent, innovation and a strategic relationship that we are able to produce a 10-watt MWIR module, packaged to the size of a smartphone," said Gordon Stewart, VP and GM of Northrop Grumman's Laser Systems business unit.

"Through collaboration, we have met both double-digit power specifications and the high beam quality sought for next-generation laser systems that satisfy size, weight and power requirements. Previously these specifications could not be met," said Kumar Patel, president and CEO of Pranalytica.

The ASALTT product line technology offers a variety of optomechanical environmentally stable laser systems designed to defeat enemy threats, taking advantage of the most advanced laser technologies currently available from government, industry, and academia. Designed with IRCMs in mind, the modular architecture also provides for utilization of key subsystems in adjacent markets, such as covert markers and pointers.

Pranalytica engineers and develops QCLs operating in the 3.6 mm to greater than 16 mm region and has developed new structure designs for QCLs leading to high powers and high wall plug efficiencies at all wavelengths.

SOURCE: Northrop Grumman;

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