Dr. David M. Stepp
Photonics enhances control of generation, emission, transmission, guidance, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and detection of light in both semiconductor and dielectric materials. It is the foundation for new sensing, communication, and power applications for the Soldier. This campaign is covered in all the above Electronics' programs but especially in Optoelectronics and Electronic Sensing. These areas are concerned with discovery and control of nanostructures and heterostructures for generation, detection, guidance, and control of optical/infrared signals in both semiconductor and dielectric materials. In addition, high-speed and low-energy photonics focuses on dynamics of carrier transport and optical emission efficiencies of novel photonic materials and heterostructures as well as nanostructured topologies that enhance radiative carrier recombination and dynamics. The research in this program may enable the design and fabrication of new photonic devices that give the Soldier high-data-rate optical networks including free space/integrated data links, improved IR countermeasures, and advanced night vision and 3-D imaging.
Dr. Mike Gerhold
Research in this subarea includes novel photonic structures, processing techniques, and integrated photonic components. The generation, guidance, and control of UV/optical/infrared (IR) signals in both semiconductor and dielectric materials are of interest. The Army has semiconductor laser research opportunities based on quantum dot and quantum well semiconductor materials operating in the eye-safe (>1.55), 3 5, 8 12, and 18-24 microns regions for various applications, such as ladar, IR countermeasures, and free space/integrated data links. Crystalline and amorphous wide-bandgap semiconductor materials are of interest for lasers and detectors operating in the ultraviolet and visible regime. Research is necessary in semiconductor materials growth and device processing to improve the efficiency and reliability of the output of devices at these wavelengths.
High-performance photonic devices and components will be optimized for applications including high-data-rate optical networks. Interfacing of optoelectronic devices with electronic processors will be investigated for full utilization of available bandwidth. Electro-optic components will be studied for use in guided-wave data links for interconnections and optoelectronic integration, all requirements for high-speed full situational awareness. Optical interconnect components are needed in guided-wave data links for computer interconnection and in free-space links for optical switching and processing. For optical processing of images, research leading to two-dimensional (2-D) arrays of surface-emitting lasers is necessary. Research addressing efficient, novel photonic components, such as optical micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMs) is needed. Emitters and architectures for novel display and processing of battlefield imagery are important.
Dr. William Clark
The ultimate goal of Army sensors is 100 percent situational awareness to include day/night, all weather, non-line-of-sight and through natural and man-made obstructions for sensing of vehicles, personnel, weapons, chemical and biological threats, projectiles, explosives, landmines, IEDs, and motion. Sensing technologies of interest to this research subarea currently include acoustic, seismic, passive electromagnetic, hyperspectral, and IR. Other innovative sensors that meet an Army need are also welcome. Note that chemical, biological, and radar sensors are generally funded through other subareas.
Novel IR detectors and multispectral structures are of particular interest. Efforts are sought that raise the operating temperature of "cooled," high-performance IR detectors, as well as efforts that increase performance of "uncooled" IR detectors. Research opportunities include photonic components based on quantum-confined devices and semiconductor materials operating in the infrared 1-24 micrometer regions. Also of interest is the UV spectral region. In both regions, studies involving growth, defects, interfaces, substrates, doping, and other electronic characteristics will be considered.
Optics and Fields
The Army of the 21st century will rely more on sensing, imaging processing, and autonomous target tracking and recognition than ever before. The objective of this work package is to investigate fundamental physical phenomena that will lead to revolutionary advances in these areas. The Optical Physics and Fields Program emphasizes the manipulation of light in ways not previously possible and the physics of light in extreme conditions such as ultrashort pulses and ultrahigh field intensities. These efforts underpin advances in applications such as imaging, lightweight optical elements, and remote sensing.