Sanders ATIRCM laser-based jammer uses optical fiber

By John McHale

NASHUA, N.H. — Engineers at Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company in Nashua, N.H., are using fiber optic technology combined with an all-band laser source for infrared countermeasures (IRCM) applications to reduce weight, complexity, and cost.

The power available from the all-band laser, together with the flexibility and low cost of fiber optic cables, promises to bolster countermeasures against infrared, or "heat-seeking," missiles, Sanders officials say. Infrared missiles typically home in on the hot exhaust of jet aircraft engines.

A recent demonstration of the technology "showed that fiber optic technology provides a highly effective means of directing laser energy in an [infrared] countermeasures system," says Tom Evans, the Sanders manager of the Multispectral Countermeasures (MSCM) program. The system uses the laser to create a separate "hot spot" to lure the infrared missile away from its primary target.

Currently, similar laser jammers use optical coupling to direct the energy.

Previous methods use a series of mirrors in an enclosed tube, where the mirrors control the laser beam as it moves through the tube, Evans explains.

Tests last month at the Sanders Merrimack, N.H., test range featured a modified U.S. Army Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures (ATIRCM) directable jam head to support a fiber optic path from the laser through the jam head output aperture. The Sanders-designed laser system generated more than four watts of jamming energy into a mid-infrared fiber optic cable.

A fiber optic rotating joint from Litton Poly-Scientific in Blacksburg, Va., enables the jam head to turn 360 degrees toward a target, Evans says.

The fiber optic device is in the shape of a robotic arm with several elbows, each of which that has a beamsteering galvonometer or mirror. These devices steer the beam to the next elbow point. Designers use these devices because the optics make it difficult to keep the beam aligned, Evans says.

The fiber optic cable, developed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, performed perfectly without damage and with only negligible optical loss, Sanders officials claim. The effort also verified the precise pointing accuracy of the ATIRCM system using the fiber optic technology, they say.

Still, there are potential drawbacks. Fiber optics produce a beam that diverges faster than a normal laser and the device needs a collecting mirror to keep the beam together, Evans explains. The biggest advantage to using fiber optics is low cost and weight, Evans says.

Future demonstrations under the MSCM ATD will include the use of a multi-band semiconductor laser as an IRCM source. Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Lincoln Labs in Lexington, Mass., are providing semiconductor laser materials for the fabrication of the semiconductor laser.

The semiconductor laser, developed by Decade Optical Systems of Albuquerque, N.M., will be connected by fiber optic cables to the Agile Eye directable jam head that was designed by Sanders for the U.S. Navy`s Tactical Aircraft Directional Infrared Countermeasures (TADIRCM) program.

The demonstration was under the aegis of the U.S. Army`s MSCM Advanced Technology Demonstration program. Sanders received a contract from the Army`s Communications-Electronics Command in December 1996 to develop and demonstrate countermeasures against infrared missiles as well as pre-planned product improvements for IRCM technology for ATIRCM hardware and other assets. The Army programming office for ATIRCM is at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.

Click here to enlarge image

Sanders engineers lowered costs and improved performance by using fiber optic cables with the U.S. Army Advanced Threat Infrared Countermeasures all-band laser.


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

CPU-PPC460EX-VME Processor Board

The CPU-PPC460EX-VME PowerPC processor board is designed for rugged, conduction and convection co...

PC/104 SBC and Peripherals

Kontron PC/104 Standalone Single Board Computers (SBCs) serve in every format, even with consiste...

General Micro "Horizon" C299

The C299 Horizon is a third generation, 6U cPCI SBC module based on GMS’ upgradable CPU technolog...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

API DC Link Power Film Capacitors

High reliability DC link capacitors for power inverter applications which require superior life e...

XPort9200 Conduction- or Air-Cooled 12-Channel High-Speed CAN Bus XMC or PMC

The XPort9200 is a conduction- or air-cooled 12-channel CAN bus XMC or PMC module. Each high-spee...

Related Companies

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

General Micro Systems Inc

Since 1979, General Micro Systems has been providing the most diverse line of single-board computers in the industry....

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

API Technologies Corp

Who We Are API Technologies is a dominant technology provider of RF/microwave, microelectronics, and security technol...

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is a leading global provider of embedded computing systems and modules for a wide range of a...

Raycom Electronics

Raycom Electronics, Inc., a subsidiary of Electro Technik Industries (ETI), was incorporated in 1965.  The compa...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

June 2015
Volume 26, Issue 6
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE