A new photonics spin-out company that provides novel laser detection and protection products for military users has been awarded funding from the UK government. Using research undertaken by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Sentinel Photonics offers a range of laser detection and protection products that reportedly offer protection from laser-based threats for dismounted soldiers.
According to the manufacturer, the technology detects and analyses invisible lasers used ahead of weapon systems to provide advance warning of attacks. Over time a bank of laser ‘signatures’ will be created that will identify and distinguish individual threat systems, enabling dismounted troops to take appropriate protective measures. This capability has attracted the attention of the UK Government and has resulted in two successful applications for development contract funding from the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA).
“I would like to thank DASA for their support,” said Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, Sentinel’s Chief Executive Officer. “These two grants, totalling £232,000, will help Sentinel accelerate its product development programme and will see demonstrator products in the hands of our end users by the end of the year. By the end of the summer, I’m also pleased to announce that we will be seeking to launch a Venture Funding round and would welcome preliminary discussions with interested parties.”
Sentinel’s first product will be a camera-based Laser Event Recorder (LER) to detect both pulsed and continuous wave (CW) lasers. In due course it also plans to develop a range of optical filters to provide protection against laser threats to complement the LER detection capability.
“I have been working in the electro-optics field at Dstl for more than five years and am excited to continue this journey as part of Sentinel Photonics,” added Sean Tipper, Sentinel’s Chief Technology Officer. “The cutting-edge work undertaken at Dstl to not only reduce the Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) of these technologies but also create entirely new capabilities and overcome existing limitations, is what makes Sentinel’s products unique and will help to prevent loss of life and improve mission effectiveness.”