Protect With Light


The QCL-IR Advantage 

Leonardo DRS’ high-power, multi-color laser systems provide best-in-class performance for military applications. Based on our ground-breaking QCL technology, these high-power laser systems represent the ultimate choice for aircraft survivability equipment, providing the following enabling capabilities.

QCL Technology Overview Video

  • Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) 
    Previously, DIRCM systems were only installed on large aircraft that could afford to carry heavy equipment. The minimal SWaP of our QCL-based lasers enables, for the first time, DIRCM systems to be deployed on lightweight, rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

  • Multi-Spectral Performance
    Our QCL-based laser systems integrate multi-spectral laser performance from a single system, enabling the complete electro-optic threat to set to lightweight aircraft to be addressed from a single laser system.

  • Inexhaustible Supply
    With QCL-based DIRCM systems, soldiers can defeat an unlimited number of threats during their mission. Previously, IRCM systems were limited by the number of flares that could be discharged to defeat the threat before they no longer benefit from such protection.

  • Reliability
    QCL-IR high-power laser systems are ruggedized to military standards, having logged over 10,000 hours of environmental testing and end-to-end testing to ensure long-term reliability.

  • Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA)
    Our QCL-based DIRCM laser systems have been designed using commercial technologies integrated into a modular architecture. This enables our systems to be continuously upgraded with “plug and play” components; as technologies mature and improve, they can be inserted seamlessly to provide upgraded capabilities. This not only offers best-of-breed performance but can save a significant amount of future cost that would historically be required to develop, qualify, and deploy new systems to address evolving threats.



Aircraft Survivability

Soldiers walking and helicopters hovering in skyMan-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs) are portable missiles that can be fired from the ground to target aircraft. MANPAD systems, also referred to as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles—pose a serious threat to national security when in the hands of bad actors. Given the small size of these systems (about 4 to 6 feet long), MANPADs are easy to transport, hide, and use with an individual or small team of members. This makes the MANPADs an attractive weapon to criminals, terrorists and other bad actors. The U.S. Government has made this a priority to protect military and commercial aircraft from these threats with aircraft survivability technology.

Before the Daylight Solutions business unit of  Leonardo DRS commercialized Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL-IR) technology for military applications such as Directed Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM), systems were restricted to using lasers that were developed using dozens of individual components to generate individual “colors” required to defeat electro-optic threats. Such legacy lasers are large, bulky, heavy, and consume significant electrical power to operate. These laser limitations restricted DIRCM system deployment to only large aircraft that could afford to carry the weight and provide the necessary power. Further, these systems’ reliability has been very limited, necessitating significant ongoing operations and maintenance costs.

Leonardo DRS has developed QCL technology for both commercial and military applications. Our QCLs are comprised of commercial semiconductor technologies like those used in the microelectronics industry. As such, QCLs are very compact, millimeter-scale devices that can be easily integrated with conventional electronics and mechanical hardware, providing system designers with a wide degree of flexibility when optimizing applications.

Furthermore, our QCL innovations have enabled, for the first time, DIRCM systems to be deployed on lightweight rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, providing those soldiers and personnel with the protection necessary to defeat electro-optic threats. These innovations can be deployed by U.S. and allied militaries whose aircraft require electro-optic survivability equipment.


QCL-IR Laser Systems

Solaris™ Ruggedized Laser System

Solaris™ is a lightweight, high-power military ruggedized laser system for aircraft survivability applications. Solaris™ has been adopted as the laser source for Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) solution, their 5th generation infrared countermeasure (IRCM) technology for warfighter protection. Solaris™ provides fast, simultaneous breaklock jamming with high power in multiple colors to defeat current and future threats.

The Solaris™ laser assembly is designed using a modular, open system architecture. This enables system designers to integrate best-of-breed technical performance and rapidly field new capabilities to continuously defeat evolving threats.

Download the Solaris™ data sheet

Solaris Ruggedized Laser System

Jupiter™ Ruggedized Laser System

Jupiter™ is a high performance, SWaP-optimized, ruggedized laser system for military aircraft survivability applications. Jupiter™ is an enhanced version of DRS Daylight’s Solaris™ laser, designed to handle extreme operating conditions by conforming to MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461F and MIL-STD-704A-F.  Jupiter™ provides responsive, autonomous break-lock jamming utilizing high power in multiple colors to defeat current and future threats.

The Jupiter™ laser design expands upon the modular, open system architecture (MOSA) of the Solaris™ laser. This enables system designers to quickly integrate drop-in replacement modules, ensuring Jupiter™ remains fully capable to handle not only current threats, but also defeat rapidly emerging threats.

Download the Jupiter™ data sheet

Jupiter Ruggedized Quantum Cascade Laser

Series A High Power Laser System

The Series A family of laser system provides high power, multi-wavelength optical output that can be distributed to multiple output ports.  Its integrated optical switch provides the ability to direct laser energy to any one of up to six (6) output ports.  The laser system can be fiber-coupled to enable flexible distributions of its optical output.  The military ruggedized laser system is ideally suited for aircraft survivability applications such as directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM).

Download the Series A data sheet

Series A High-Power Quantum Cascade Laser