Thursday, December 3, 2020

DARPA backs Lasers for Universal Microscale Optical Systems program

DARPA is backing a new Lasers for Universal Microscale Optical Systems (LUMOS) program, which aims to bring high-performance lasers to advanced photonics platforms. 

Three LUMOS Technical Areas are cited:

  • bringing high-performance lasers and optical amplifiers into advanced domestic photonics manufacturing foundries. Tower Semiconductor and SUNY Polytechnic Institute were selected to demonstrate flexible, efficient on-chip optical gain in their photonics processes to enable next-generation optical microsystems for communications, computing, and sensing. LUMOS technologies will be made available to future design teams through DARPA-sponsored multi-project wafer runs.
  • developing high power lasers and amplifiers on fast photonics platforms for microwave applications. Research teams include Ultra-Low Loss Technologies, Quintessent, Harvard University, and Sandia National Laboratories.
  • creating precise lasers and integrated photonic circuits for visible spectrum applications with an ambitious goal of “wavelength by design” across an unprecedented spectral range. The teams will seek to develop lasers at many challenging wavelengths throughout the program to enable compact atomic sensors for navigation, precise timing solutions, and emerging quantum information hardware. Selected research teams include Nexus Photonics, Yale University, California Institute of Technology, Sandia National Laboratories, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

"LUMOS is part of the third phase of DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) – a five-year, upwards of $1.5 billion investment in the future of domestic, U.S. government, and defense electronics systems,” said Gordon Keeler, program manager in DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office. “As an ERI program, LUMOS aims to create unique, differentiated domestic manufacturing capabilities that are accessible to the DoD through the enhanced capabilities of existing foundries and through DoD-relevant demonstration systems created by the program performers."