The Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Qioptiq, an Excelitas Technologies Company, are working together to protect against dazzle caused by ‘white light’ sources such as sunlight or headlamp glare as well as narrower sources such as lasers. Traditional laser protection techniques do not block out such light and can leave operators, pilots and drivers vulnerable to the blinding effect of broadband radiation.
The MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has signed a licence agreement with global photonics company Qioptiq through technology transfer company Ploughshare Innovations for Qioptiq to commercialise the technology for use across its markets.
The agreement will allow the company access to Dstl’s patented technology, the Optically Addressable Light Valve (OALV), which was invented by Dstl scientist Chris Burgess. OALV uses a layer of liquid crystal in an electro-optical assembly to effectively block sources of glare and dazzle without affecting the remaining field of vision, therefore allowing sensors to remain effective whilst being “dazzled”. This was developed as part of Dstl’s electro-optic protection measures programme, which exists to address the rising laser threat to aircrew and sensors. Ploughshare Innovations’ Jim Ashe says: “It’s very encouraging to see capability developed from government research which can enable industry to provide protection against intense light sources, such as from laser dazzle and sun-strike.”
Qioptiq will now be considering other situations where the OALV could have benefit, in both military and civilian environments, including potential uses in medical work.
Steve Rickard, Business and Product Development manager, Land Business, Qioptiq added: “The potential integration of Dstl’s technology into our product portfolio presents an exciting development that we may not otherwise have achieved so readily”.
You can see the light valve being demonstrated on YouTube.
For more information contact the Dstl press office on 01980 658666, 07901 892660,
Follow us on Twitter: @dstlmod
Notes to editors:
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) maximises the impact of science and technology (S&T) for the defence and security of the UK, supplying sensitive and specialist S&T services for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and wider government. Dstl is a trading fund of the MOD, run along commercial lines. It is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to S&T in the defence and security field, with three main sites at Porton Down, near Salisbury, Portsdown West, near Portsmouth, and Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks.
Dstl works with a wide range of partners and suppliers in industry, in academia and overseas. Around 60% of the Defence Science and Technology Programme is delivered by these external partners and suppliers.
About Ploughshare Innovations ( www.ploughshareinnovations.com )
Ploughshare Innovations manages the commercial licensing to industry of intellectual property developed by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Ploughshare’s goal is to give clients a competitive edge, by lowering technology risk, reducing R&D costs, speeding time to market, and maximizing the business opportunity. It provides leading edge, application focussed technology, backed up with the assurance of advanced IP support and protection. Ploughshare is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dstl.
MEDIA CONTACTS Chris Goff+44 (0)1794 301602 or [email protected]
Qioptiq, an Excelitas Technologies Company, designs and manufactures photonic products and solutions that serve a wide range of markets and applications in the areas of defence and aerospace, medical and life sciences, industrial manufacturing, , and research and development. Qioptiq benefits from having integrated the knowledge and experience of Avimo, Gsänger, LINOS, Optem, Pilkington, Point Source, Rodenstock, Spindler & Hoyer and others. In October 2013, Qioptiq was acquired by Excelitas Technologies Corp., a global photonics company focused on delivering innovative, customised solutions to meet the high-performance technology needs of OEM customers. The combined companies have approximately 5,000 employees in North America, Europe and Asia, serving customers across the world. Visit www.qioptiq.com
for more information.
MEDIA CONTACTS Craig Taylor +44(0)1745 588002 [email protected]
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Ploughshare Innovations Ltd, on Monday 3 March, 2014. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/