VCSELs for Laser Illumination Applications:
Illumination, Sensor, and Gesture Recognition Applications require increasingly bright illumination sources, low speckle, and uniform lighting. This can be best accomplished with Vertical-Cavity, Surface-Emitting Lasers (VCSELs).
Why are VCSELs ideal for these applications:
Vertical-Cavity, Surface-Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) are an ideal diode laser source for illumination applications due to an inherent uniform and circular beam emission. Due to the vertical emitting structure, the beam emits a symmetrically circular beam with narrow divergences in the ~20° range which provides a simple, elegant solutions for manipulating the beam. In addition, they produce low speckle imagery commonly seen with LED illumination. The uniform, speckle-free illumination from Vertical-Cavity, Surface-Emitting Lasers provides the end user with the high-resolution and quality currently lacking from typical edge-emitting laser diode illumination systems. Edge-emitting laser diodes can require complex optical solutions to address the speckle and the fast and slow axis divergences.
VCSELs, over LEDs, are the preferred choice for SWAP-minded solutions for long range illumination applications. The higher powers and efficiencies achievable with VCSELs enable compact solutions for long distance (100-1000+ meter) illumination. They also provide improved eye-safety margins compared to edge-emitting lasers.
VCSELs are also beneficial in sensor applications where more collimated light, or longer ranges, are an advantage. Applications such as altimeters or proximity sensors can benefit from using a VCSEL light source when miniature, SWAP-centric high-performance designs are needed.
Platforms and example applications for these products may include, UAVs, automotive, rangefinders, gesture recognition, robotics, fixed mount security cameras, etc. Vertical-Cavity, Surface-Emitting Lasers are available in the near infrared (NIR) and shortwave infrared (SWIR) wavelength ranges.
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