Raytheon Recently Celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Laser

On May 16, 2010, Raytheon celebrated 50 years since Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Labs developed the world’s first working laser. From that early development, Raytheon employees have been central to driving the company’s laser innovation – fostering developments that become cornerstones of laser technology.

Raytheon embraces the power of lasers to deliver innovative solutions that help support customer missions. We focus on driving innovation in laser technology and in constantly seeking new ways to apply lasers within customer solutions.

With dozens of laser firsts to their credit, Raytheon has fielded thousands of laser designators and delivered tens of thousands of laser systems. Raytheon’s laser innovation enables capabilities across sensing, designation, communication and more.

Examples include:

  • Adaptive Photonic Phase-Locked Elements – a DARPA development program at Raytheon: APPLE’s goal is to develop a directed energy weapon that achieves high powers through beam combining. This high-power laser may be realized by combining multiple low power beams into one single high power beam. Raytheon’s APPLE program focuses on enabling laser-based weapons applications to be integrated into unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared: Laser technology enables Raytheon ATFLIR to locate and designate targets at all times of day and at ranges exceeding 40 nautical miles. These capabilities allow aviators to perform missions in even the harshest conditions.
  • Beam Technology Steering Demonstration: The goal of the BTSD project is to develop optical communications for satellite that enable high-bandwidth communication to support war-fighters, such as real-time sensor video. A specific objective is to provide gigabit communication to remote units, as opposed to the megabit communication that is currently possible.
  • Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM): Raytheon uses laser technology to protect war-fighters as part of a comprehensive aircraft protection system.
  • Experimental Free Electron Laser: In June 2009, the Office of Naval Research awarded Raytheon a 12-month contract to develop the preliminary design of a 100 kilowatt experimental Free Electron Laser for the U.S. Navy that will also demonstrate parameters necessary to scale to an MW-class laser system.
  • Laser Area Defense System: Part of a directed energy program, Raytheon LADS uses lasers to improve the precision and accuracy of the Phalanx system.
  • Laser Guided Maverick Missile and Paveway Laser Guided Bomb: Raytheon’s munitions with integrated laser technology improve the accuracy and precision of these systems in combat.
  • Quantum Sensors: Raytheon BBN is participating in the DARPA-STO Quantum Sensors Program, which is exploring concepts for using quantum states in remote sensing applications. Successful development of such concepts would allow radar, LADAR (laser radar) and other remote sensing systems to exceed the performance limits of today’s technology. (source www.raytheon.com)
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Mike is a finance industry executive with expertise in test, IT and avionics equipment acquisition, resale, residual valuation, leasing, renting and consignment.
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