Photonic integration enables increased performance, manufacturability, stability, and cost savings throughout the defense and security infrastructure, including communications, intelligence, navigation, electronic warfare and sensing systems.
Night Vision goggles, monoculars and binoculars are sophisticated opto-electronic devices that enable us to see in dim conditions that are too dark for the naked eye. An objective lens collects and amplifies light, which is then focused on a powerful infrared illuminator. Inside the illuminator, the light stimulates a photocathode and converts the photon energy into electrons that spread across an electrostatic field and strike a screen which emits an image that you can see. More information: Optics Express.
Currently, lasers are being used to defend against surface-to-air missiles, as well as in systems that guide "smart" weapons to their targets. Lasers are also being developed and tested for many other military missions including the deactivation of improvised explosive devices, incoming missile tracking, laser radar and high-speed, high-bandwidth satellite-to-satellite communications. More information: Journal of Optical Technology.
By placing optical fibers along a boundary, such as a fence or property line, an invisible barrier can be formed. Signal monitors that line the fiber will trigger an alarm if disturbed. Optical technologies are also applied to information security. Optical encryption utilizes parallel processing and multidimensional capabilities to obscure data in the eyes of hackers. More information: Advances in Optics and Photonics.
Combating Biological Terrorism
Optical methods offer a balanced assortment of non-invasiveness, speed, compactness, low-cost, and sensitivity for identification and tracking of microorganisms. Holographic Optical Tweezers and Digital Holographic Microscopy allocate real-time 3D imaging of bacteria, viruses, or toxins that can be intentionally disseminated as biological warfare. More information: Journal of Display Technology.
The field of optical communications is crucial in building secure two category – secret and physical – security enhancement schemes. All optical chaos communication is subject to optical feedback for intrinsic privacy. An approach that improves physical layer security is made possible by the rich correlated randomness accessible in an optical medium in this generation of shared secure keys. More information: Optics Express.