Compact, wearable IFF laser beacon with enhanced data transmission capability
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Aerius Photonics will address the need for an effective, secure, long-range wearable identification friend-or-foe (IFF) device with enhanced data transmission capability by developing a compact, portable, battery-powered beacon that employs state-of-the-art mid-wave IR (MWIR) and/or long-wave IR (LWIR) and near IR (NIR) laser technology to emit an eyesafe signal that is easily detected by presently deployed targeting pods. Furthermore, the proposed device would have a directional NATO Code Compliant laser operating at 1064nm that when sighted to a friendly receiver will securely send information via line-of-sight (LOS) transmission. Phase I will demonstrate, evaluate and deliver a prototype battery operated, hand held laser beacon with a range of 10 nautical miles. The initial effort will focus on determining the design space available for miniaturization, packaging and cost reduction of laser devices with proven performance to meet the needs of the application. Feasibility will be established for further miniaturizing the unit to less than a 120 cm3 volume. In Phase I, a long-range field test will also be conducted on the prototype unit at Northrop Grumman using their Litening targeting pod. The Phase II effort will focus on completing a ruggedized product design and proving out reliability and performance. BENEFIT: The Aerius IFF beacon will address a critical need for missions support personnel to readily discriminate between friendly and unfriendly troops at continuously increasing distances from the center of activity by providing a wearable module with enhanced capability for communicating identifying information. Moreover, it will enable a solider to establish a direct, secure communications link to incoming aircraft to provide brief, albeit mission critical, information to assure victory in a dynamically-changing battlefield environment. At the successful completion of the Phase I and Phase II program, Aerius' IFF beacon will have immediate utility for current military operations, and since it is designed to work with current targeting pods, Aerius' beacon can be deployed as soon as production begins. Therefore, a key objective for the combined Phase I and Phase II effort will be to finalize a beacon design that is ready for production by the end of the program. Moreover, this product would have broad appeal across all branches of the military, and therefore, the commercial volume potential is substantial.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Aerius Photonics, LLC.
2223 Eastman Ave., Suite B Ventura, CA 93003
Number of Employees: