The scientists recently published a report on the potential of ‘Photonic Marine Applications’ focusing on the €1million KETmaritime project in order to expertise in laser technology applied to materials, processing, robotics and automation.

Specifically, through the KETmaritime project, its consortium of seven collaborators across Europe, are making every effort to identify key enabling technologies to enhance the needs and demands of the future in the Atlantic maritime market.

As the project coordinator from the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) Ana Vila announced, their latest report in collaboration with the Spanish research centre "AIMEN", opens new boundaries broken in the field of the marine laser development and boosts the detection of underwater objects involving submarines and archaeological sites.

In recent months, France-based multidisciplinary research laboratory CIMAP has been actively developing blue-light lasers in constant wave and pulsed regimes. It recently achieved a record 7.5W constant wave output at 452nm wavelength. This is understood to be by far the highest constant wave ‘pure blue’ power generated from a frequency-doubled fibre laser.

...said Ana Vila.

The coordinator further confirmed that the absorption of light in pure water is lowest in the 400-450nm spectral range while laser light set in this range can penetrate long distances with minimal reduction in strength.

The above-mentioned light sources can be used to determine distances, or by means of Lidar techniques record underwater objects, like submarines and archaeological sites. "Conventional methods to detect underwater targets have employed acoustic waves. However, laser-based systems have clear advantages in high directionality and high range resolution. They also allow new methods of wide-band and interception-proofed communication" Ana Vila marked.

For the records, "AIMEN" has conducted more than 650 R&D&I projects during the last 10 years, having an average of 650 customer per year.

Through the study of photonics, the consortium seeks to generate, monitor and detect photons – an elementary particle of light carrying energy. This can be used to concentrate beams for cutting and welding as well as 3D scanning and surgical applications, through to more ordinary applications, such as presence detection for door control, bar code scanning and printers.

Moreover, the global photonics industry is estimated to surpass €615billion during 2020. At the same time, between 2005 and 2015 a real annual increase rate of 7% was also reported, which is twice as fast as global GDP growth.

Through recently acquired knowledge and technological breakthroughs we are ready to profit from the ‘photonic revolution’ achieving greater advances and control in the application of light across many high-tech markets. In the coming years, the maritime sector will greatly benefit from a broad variety of applications of photonic devices.

...Ana Vila concluded.

Concluding, the ‘photonic revolution’ is expected to become an increasingly accessible technology and will play a vital role in the development of detection and recognition systems applicable to areas including navigation, tracking of objects and masses at sea and maritime rescue.