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FLIR Systems introduced its “VPOWR” laser source product, which is based on the company’s proprietary Vertical-Cavity, Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology.  FLIR VPOWR is a high-power, short-pulse laser diode with electronics designed for use in a wide range of applications, including light detection and ranging (LIDAR), gesture recognition, and 3D sensing.

The FLIR VPOWR leverages several of the key advantages of VCSELs. They are brighter and more efficient than traditional LED-based systems, and have a smaller form factor. VCSELs also provide improved eye-safety and superior illumination in terms of uniformity and speckle noise over commonly used edge-emitting lasers.

FLIR’s VPOWR is capable of more than 50 W peak power from 10-50 nanosecond pulses out of a single aperture VCSEL; operating at an emission wavelength of 940 nanometers. The circular output beam facilitates uniform illumination and easy optical coupling, translating into superior performance. The proliferation of gesture recognition used in consumer products such as gaming systems and mobile phones, and LIDAR applications such as mapping and collision avoidance, highlights the need for more precise, high power, near infrared light sources.  The performance, manufacturing advantages and reliability of VCSEL technology fits extremely well with these needs.   

“The breakthrough performance and package of VPOWR makes it highly attractive for military, robotics, process automation, safety and a host of other applications” said Kevin Tucker, Vice President and General Manager of FLIR Surveillance.  “This technology will expand the capability for many of our customers’ development efforts and open new opportunities due to its amazing performance and size”.

The FLIR VPOWR is currently available on a fully integrated, compact driver circuit board for easy interface and operation.  A bare chip on a sub-mount is also an option for customers doing their own on-board integration.  Other package formats will be released later this year.  FLIR’s VPOWR is an ITAR-restricted product, but custom chip development is available to approved parties.