It's no secret that military forces worldwide are constantly looking for a technological advantage from Electro-Optical and Infrared (EO/IR) sensor systems. After all, EO/IR sensors are the "eyes" that give deployed military forces the enhanced situational awareness they need to win in contested environments.
It's also no secret that BAE Systems provides the U.S. DoD with advanced EO/IR sensor technologies deployed on and above the planet, often incorporating them into multi-spectral warfighting systems built by other BAE Systems business units. And because our FAST Labs EO/IR R&D unit is at the forefront of escalating the performance and capabilities of sensor technologies, this is also the R&D team our customers turn to when they need to achieve the impossible.
Sensor technologies are constantly evolving, but right now our advanced EO/IR R&D falls into the following focus areas:
Focus areas of EO/IR Sensor R&D
Highly integrated on-chip solutions reduce SWaP-C for multi-function and multi-wavelength sensors and payloads. These crystals and other materials are produced in-house, and are used to shift the wavelength and frequency of laser light. These developments function in a range of military and commercial applications, such as:
- IR countermeasures, threat detection, and targeting
- High-powered, directed-energy lasers
- Laser surgery and coherent x-ray generation
Our EO/IR R&D team's capabilities with nonlinear crystals include:
- Crystal growth and process development
- Nonlinear optical crystal development
- IR optimal material design and production
- Learn more about our nonlinear crystal technologies
Advanced smart sensors and seekers
Multi-domain processing algorithms provide robust situational awareness and understanding; enabling intelligent action in contested environments Next-generation small, affordable multi-mode sensors and seekers support smart munitions for optical identification in denied environments. These smart munitions have the capability to engage a diverse target set in all weather and environmental conditions.
Our R&D capabilities in this area include sensors that can be optimized to meet mission-specific requirements:
- Military-hardened sensors
- Multi-spectral and multi-wavelength seekers
- Multi-modal sensors
- Programmable sensors
- Radio frequency, electro-optic sensors
- Acoustic sensors
Temporally- and spectrally-agile laser sources are developed for targeting, remote sensing, and counter-sensor applications. Our EO/IR R&D professionals design and produce these military hardened, prototype lasers into affordable, compact packages for use in lab environments and in combat.
Our Advanced Laser capabilities include:
- Pulsed lasers from the ultraviolet, through IR portions of the electromagnetic spectrum
- Design and optimization of wavelength-shifted sources via nonlinear optical processes
- Custom fiber-based sources (Ytterbium, Erbium, Thulium, and Holmium)
- Compact, highly reliable prototype hardware
- Laser and nonlinear optical modeling of novel material systems > advanced lasers
Laser radar provides power- and volume-efficient radar-type measurements with a low probability of intercept and detection. This gives a warfighter the ability to remain nearly untraceable – unnerving opponents, instilling the confidence to take adversaries head on, and increasing mission survivability.
Our FAST Labs EO/IR R&D unit is furthering development of laser-based tools with adaptable, programmable, adaptive, and active optical measurement systems that help users gain access to information that is not traditionally measured. These are often for purposes previously considered unproductive or impossible to measure.
BAE Systems' EO/IR R&D team welcomes collaboration with industry and academia on current or future projects. Please contact us if you are interested in knowing more or participating with our team. If you are interested in learning more or participating with our team, contact us here.
Life at BAE Systems
The FAST Labs EO/IR R&D unit does some of the leading Electro-Optical and Infrared sensor research and development in the world. That itself makes it a great place to work, but so does working with many of the most experienced and inventive engineers and scientists anywhere.