The Air Force is looking for mid-wave infrared illuminators that can be used for surveillance and targeting by small UAVs as well as ground troops.
The goal is to "develop high power, efficient MWIR illuminators to provide wide field-of-view illumination for hand-held, small weapon-mounted, remotely piloted aircraft, gunship, and helicopter applications," says the Air Force small business innovation research announcement. Illuminators with a 10-kilometer range are needed for UAVs, while 100 meters to 3 kilometers will suffice for ground troops.
Phase I of the SBIR will focus on solid state uncooled or minimally cooled MWIR illuminator solutions for speckle-less pointing and targeting, according to the announcement. Phase II will involve field demonstrations, including the ability to minimize power consumption sufficiently to enable continuous operations for 30 minutes.