April, 1989

Fostering and Funding Military Laser R&D

C. Yashar Ozberkmen

Military lasers are those devices and weapons that use amplified, monochromatic, coherent light to best advance the strategic capabilities of the armed forces. The U.S. Army first began using military lasers in 1965. At that time, lasers were developed and used as range finders because of their extreme accuracy at measuring distances. Soldiers who were forward observers used these devices to determine long-range coordinates of enemy artillery gunners during the Vietnam War. The Nd:YAG lasers generally used in this application could be mounted on tanks and aircraft. Air Force pilots in that conflict used lasers to guide "smart" bombs into marked targets, a technique that later was used successfully by Israeli pilots in the 1973 Mid-East conflict and continues to be used today.

Mode-locking an Argon laser

Since the Argon ion laser is one of the most used lasers today (after semiconductor and HeNe gas lasers), we wanted to design an exciting and educational lab experiment involving an Argon laser. We felt pretty fortunate having an Argon laser in the first place and we wanted to keep further costs to a minimum.

Photonics vs. electronics technologies

The following paper was presented as the lues Medal Address at the OSA Annual Meeting on Nov. 1. Figure I provides a brief historical introduction to the fields of electronics and photonics.

The Beaujolaiser

We report here the development of a vital piece of equipment for any well-equipped facility: the Beaujolaiser. Since its introduction, the Beaujolaiser has inspired legions of satisfied users.

Draft standards soon ready for comment

Last month's column covered a few of the highlights of the ISO/TC 172/SC 1 meeting held in Monterey last November. This month, we continue this report and update some areas previously mentioned.


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