Sensor Systems are getting subsequent “battleground” for dominance in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), with optics-based sensors representing a big fraction of ISR systems.
In addition, laser weapons are poised to cause a revolution in military affairs, and integrated optoelectronics is on the verge of replacing many traditional integrated circuit functions. Sophisticated platforms have reduced the need for a large set of traditional warfighters, but there is an increased need for a high-tech workforce to support those platforms.
Although conventional night-vision imagers became commodities available to anyone with money, more sophisticated optical-based surveillance systems have made major progress in the past decade and afford an excellent opportunity.
Laser Rangefinders, Designators, Jammers, and Communicators:
The significant increase in laser diode efficiency including the decrease in cost has enabled recent advances in the area of laser designators. One of the key motivators for moving to, for instance, optical communications, is that they minimize the probability of interception, jamming, and detection, while dramatically decreasing the power required.
Fiber-optic systems have continued to evolve to realize higher performance with lower power during a smaller volume.
2. Optical Signal Processing
Optical processing continues to be very promising since some mathematical functions can be performed very rapidly using optical analog techniques.