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Key Topics of the Institute
The premeditated as well as the unintentional release of chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) substances poses a threat to national security as well as to personal safety. The laser-based standoff detection represents a promising option for the early detection, recognition, and identification of hazardous substances at a safe distance in good time. Appropriate countermeasures can be initiated at an early state and potential risks for the population and the first responders can be reduced.
Long Range Laser Effectors
Concentrated light (or concentrated radiation) can be an effective tool. According to legend, Archimedes of Syracuse already used this technique to set the ships of the roman enemy on fire. If it is possible to achieve high power densities over distances of several kilometers, one can address a very broad application spectrum with such long range laser effectors.
Based on advances in the field of solid state laser technology which permit the development of more powerful, compact pulsed laser sources even for application in space and zero gravity environments, laser propulsion offers new possibilities for the position keeping and attitude control of satellites or satellite constellations in orbit. The latest research objective is the development and qualification of highly precise thrusters with thrusts levels in the range of 0.1 µN to 1 mN.
Optical reconnaissance (Space situational awareness)
The demands of the modern society need an increased and reliable global access to outer space. However, the augmented use of orbital satellites is jeopardized by a continuous growth of space debris. The Institute of Technical Physics is tackling the threat of space debris by laser-based methods of monitoring the orbital parameters at high accuracy and effectiveness.
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