January 2018 – JGM Associates (JGMA; Burlington, MA) has received notification of award from DoD/SOCOM for a Phase I SBIR program entitled “Daytime Markers / Designators.” The project will develop ultra-compact, mJ-level, mid-IR OPOs with near-diffraction-limited beam quality, suitable for use in next-generation man-portable markers, designators, and rangefinders. The SBIR program is designed to overlap and supplement JGMA’s internal R&D efforts to develop mid-IR laser sources for low-cost commercial instruments, especially handheld ones, having applications such as LIBS, LiDAR and flash LiDAR, range finding, remote sensing, biological mass spectrometry, applied photoacoustic spectroscopy, and other metrology / applied spectroscopy applications. JGMA has much experience designing and building fixed-wavelength and tunable mid-IR laser sources, including many types of mid-IR OPOs (1.5 to 10 um), erbium lasers (1.5 and 3 um), holmium lasers (2 um), and thulium lasers (1.9 um).
JGMA already has considerable experience designing and building mid-IR OPOs that simultaneously achieve mJ-level pulse energy and high beam quality. This SBIR program will significantly enhance JGMA’s experience and expertise in this area. JGMA will leverage the company’s experience in manufacturing ultra-compact and low-cost OEM lasers for handheld LIBS instruments, intended for outdoor use anywhere in the world, to make robust mid-IR sources for SOCOM missions and commercial applications.