NRL Signs CRADA and Licenses IR Fiber-Optic Technology to CorActive Inc.

5/5/2004 - 20-04r
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541

Under the authority of the Federal Technology Transfer Act (FTTA) of 1986, CAPT David M. Schubert, USN, Commanding Officer of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and Dr. Francois Chenard, representing CorActive High-Tech Inc., Quebec, Canada, have recently signed a partially exclusive patent license agreement and a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) focused on the commercial manufacture and future development of NRL's infrared (IR) fiber technology.

The FTTA provides for making federal laboratories' developments accessible to private industry, and to state and local governments, and for the improvement of economic, environmental and social well-being of the United States, by stimulating the civil utilization of federally funded technology developments.

This work was conducted at NRL by a research team headed by Drs. Ishwar Aggarwal and Jas Sanghera, in NRL's Optical Sciences Division. According to Dr. Aggarwal, "Commercial availability of the NRL-developed IR transmitting fiber will have a tremendous impact in the area of high laser power delivery systems required to support advanced applications in military, industrial and medical products. Prior to their efforts, there was a need for IR fiber, but no available supply of good quality IR fibers. In fact, the IR fibers were perceived to be weak, possessed high optical losses and therefore impractical for any applications. Through their research, the NRL team has corrected this perception." As explained by Dr. Sanghera "Code 5606 has made significant improvements in the area of chemical and glass purification processes, as well as development of novel technology to fabricate high quality IR transmitting fibers with low optical loss and high strength." "The availability of IR transmitting fibers will reshape the way IR systems are assembled. Traditional bulky infrared optics can now be replaced with lightweight, flexible and reliable IR fibers at low cost. These fibers not only transmit in the infrared wavelength region but can also transmit very high IR laser power. Consequently, these fibers are needed for aircraft protection programs against IR seeking missiles, biomedical surgery, tissue diagnostics, remote chemical sensing, facility clean up and environmental pollution monitoring. These applications will impact both the military and commercial sector," concluded Dr. Aggarwal.

NRL's partner, CorActive Inc., is an independent developer and manufacturer of advanced Specialty Optical Fiber (SOF) products for customers in the telecommunications, sensor, defense, security, industrial, medical and aerospace industries. Their R&D and production facilities are located in Quebec City, Canada.

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