Security and Defence

In collaboration with appropriate end-users, Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics seeks to bring societal and commercial benefit through a safer and more secure environment. Emerging technologies offer government agencies, businesses and individuals an increasing capacity to ensure their safety and security. Today reciprocal technologies able to disrupt society and to compromise individuals and critical assets are constantly evolving. The threat they pose has never been greater.


Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics has developed a range of technologies and expertise in the design and development of photonic systems suitable for Security and Defence applications. Working with a range of partners, Fraunhofer CAP has successfully demonstrated the ability to apply conventional and emerging technologies to complex and critical Security and Defence applications.


  • Spectroscopic excitation lasers spanning the uv, visible, near-, mid- and deep-infrared spectrum – able to access strongest & most distinctive spectral features of many explosive & toxic substances.
  • A range of novel molecular sensors offering exceptional sensitivity and sensitivity
  • Fusion of optical techniques with image / signal processing for autonomous operation
  • Hand held, stand-off molecular detection and identification in gas, liquid and solid phase


  • Laser sources for range-finding and designation.
  • Laser sources and systems for line of sight communications.
  • LiDAR.
  • Laser systems and sources for DIRCM.
  • Explosive and Chemical detection.


Mid-Infrared lasers and Optical Parametric Oscillators (OPO’s) are key elements used in the design of sensing and imaging systems for security and defence applications. Substance detection and molecule characterisation applications are achieved through detection and analysis of peak absorption characteristics of materials.

The design of sensing systems with broad tunability and narrow linewidth allows the development of high quality, robust systems capable of detecting and classifying a wide range of materials of interest.

From gas vapour to concealed explosive detection Fraunhofer CAP spectroscopic systems are highly capable in near and stand-off situations. These technologies are ready to meet the demands and challenges in a many diverse applications