Photonics @ MMI
Protection Against Laser Attacks
IN A NUTSHELL: MMI has used hyperbranched polymers to prepare a series of solid state transparent films and coatings with excellent optical quality that have excellent optical power limiting features. This approach provides a much more useful material for incorporation into optical systems than current liquid-based systems. This could help soldiers in combat situations, law enforcement personnel, people in the health sector and on satellite equipment where reliable sensors are essential. Commercially, the possibilities are far-reaching.
THE PROBLEM: The advent of affordable, available lasers has led to cases of serious misuse. In some instances, they’re even being used as weapons with the capability of causing harmful radiation damage to human eyes and to a multitude of light-sensitive receptors employed by both military and civilian applications.
THE STATE OF TECHNOLOGY: Right now, there are no materials for use in eye and sensor protection that properly integrate with existing essential equipment. New optical materials must provide increased protection from lasers without sacrificing the existing properties of current applications, such as high linear transmission across the response bands of sensors, fast response time, resistance to permanent optical damage and stability in the working environment.
OUR NOVELTY: MMI has used the unique properties of its patended hyperbranched polymers platforms to develop a novel solid state optical power limiting (OPL) system with the following features: (1) fast response time, (2) high transparency at normal illumination conditions, and (3) increased broadband spectral response for protection of eyes and sensors from laser beams. MMI’s proprietary polymers have worked very well in combination with other components to develop an advanced optical material. The salient feature of this solid state system is the combination of multiple OPL mechanisms in a synergistic fashion to provide efficient protection from laser damage.