DRDO Seeking Industrial Partners for its Laser-Induced Sensing Technology

Defence Industry

New Delhi: With lasers becoming an indispensable part of modern day battlefield and depending on the wavelength and power, lasers have wide spectrum of military applications from dazzling human eye to shooting down a UAV, guiding munitions for precision strike, imaging enemy targets and detecting chemical, biological and explosive materials.

Having developed this technology, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is looking for industries to transfer its laser-induced sensing technology. The technology was developed by the DRDO’s Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC) to detect biological agents.

LASTEC is working for the development of laser source technologies for Directed Energy Weapon (DEW), dazzling and imaging applications. It is developing standalone sensor systems using different laser sources for applications like detection and location of optical targets and detection and identification of chemical, biological and explosive materials.

Other laser systems developed by LASTEC include unexploded ordnance disposal system and different variants of dazzlers. LASTEC is also working in the area of electro-optic countermeasure systems and development of laser materials.

Over the years, LASTEC has acquired the expertise in designing, testing and evaluation of different types of laser sources and systems. Gas Dynamic Laser and Chemical Oxygen and Iodine Laser Sources of the order of tens to hundreds of kilowatts for DEW application have been successfully developed and demonstrated. Recently, single mode kW class Fibre Laser Source was realised in collaboration with foreign experts making India only the 6th (known) country to possess the requisite technological knowhow. Efforts are channelized in scaling the power levels of these laser sources.

The technology has a detection range of 1,000 meters. The detector uses an ICCD Spectrometer and PMT. The DRDO also has an Industry Academia Centre of Excellence (DIA-CoE) at the University of Hyderabad.

Pointing out that laser is a powerful technology for homeland security in defence as well environmental sciences and medical sciences, DRDO says that in the present scenario due to increased bio-terrorist activities, threat to military personnel and civilians appears in the form of biological, chemical warfare (BCW) agents and explosives.