A new laser technology being developed at the
University of Michigan and Omni Sciences, Inc. will protect helicopters
in combat from enemy missiles.
“Our lasers give off a signal that’s like throwing sand in the eyes of the missile,” said Mohammed Islam.
These sturdy and portable “mid-infrared supercontinuum lasers” are
being made using economical and off-the-shelf telecommunications fibre
optics and could blind heat-seeking weapons from a distance of 1.8
The robust, simple design can withstand shaky helicopter flight and
their mid-infrared supercontinuum mode can effectively jam missile
They also give off a focused beam packed with light from a much broader
range of wavelengths. And they are the first to operate in longer
infrared wavelengths that humans can’t see, but can feel as heat.
Heat-seeking missiles are designed to home in on the infrared radiation
that the helicopter engine emits.
Because this new laser emits such a broad spectrum of infrared light,
it can effectively mimic the engine’s electromagnetic signature and
confuse any incoming weapons, Islam said.
“We’ve used good, old-fashioned stuff from your telephone network to
build a laser that has no moving parts,” therefore being especially
well suited for helicopters, Islam said