Targeting and Ranging Lasers

What are Targeting and Ranging Lasers?

Targeting and ranging lasers play a crucial role in the defense and aerospace markets, supporting various applications. These lasers are utilized for precise target acquisition, tracking, and ranging purposes. They assist in guiding munitions, providing accurate coordinates for fire control systems, and aiding in the identification of targets. Targeting and ranging lasers are commonly used in military operations, including ground-based artillery, naval systems, and aircraft platforms. They enable accurate distance measurement, facilitating effective engagement and ensuring mission success. Additionally, these lasers find utility in aerial surveillance, remote sensing, and aerospace research, providing valuable data for monitoring, mapping, and scientific analysis. The precise and reliable performance of these lasers contributes to enhancing operational effectiveness and reducing collateral damage in defense and aerospace applications.

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Targeting and Ranging Applications

Range Finding Lasers: Range finding lasers are the laser source that drives a range finding system. These lasers are designed, manufactured, and tested to be resistant to harsh environments, with a wide operating temperature range, shock and vibration hardened, and exhibit low SWaP (size, weight, and power) characteristics, enabling lightweight, handheld, portable range finding devices. Laser range finding typically utilizes short nanosecond pulsed, ultra-compact, ≈ 1.5µm IR wavelength DPSS lasers.

Target Designator Lasers: Laser designation lasers require relatively high pulse energy, a programmable pulse repetition rate, low beam divergence, and high pointing accuracy.  Laser target designation must be deployable in a wide variety of inhospitable environments; therefore, in addition to the optical considerations, it is required that they are rugged, compact, lightweight, and have relatively low power consumption (low SWaP). Laser target designation typically utilizes short nanosecond pulsed, ultra-compact, ≈ 1.5µm IR wavelength DPSS lasers.

Directed Energy Weapon Lasers: Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) are weapons that use directed energy, such as lasers, to damage or destroy targets. There are two types of lasers used in DEWs: high-energy lasers and low-energy lasers. For a couple of examples, high-energy lasers are used for destroying targets like drones and missiles, while low-energy lasers are used for tracking and scrambling/damaging chips and tracking systems. While many different lasers can be used for a DEW system, we often see MWIR quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) and IR/SWIR, high-power laser diodes bars and stacks used most commonly for IR countermeasures, solid-state laser pumping, and other DEW applications.

Recommended Laser Series

We recommend the following laser series options for Targeting & Ranging applications. There can often be a ton of options and many variables. Contact us today for help finding the perfect laser for your specific application!

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Airtrac-MIL Series


The AIRTRAC-MIL series is a ruggedized, high-shock, ultra-compact, actively q-switched, low-SWaP, DPSS laser, available with up to 70 mJ @ 532 & 1064 nm. Configurations for laser designation are available in a complete system weighing less than 1 lb. The athermal design of the AIRTRAC ensures high laser pulse energy, and stable performance over the full temperature range with low beam divergence. 

ER Series

The ER Series offers an ultra-compact, ultra-low SWaP, and efficient solution for those seeking high-quality diode-pumped lasers for lightweight, handheld, and portable laser range finding applications. These lasers operate at an “eye-safe” wavelength of 1.5 µm and deliver high pulse energy up to 200 µJ with a 4 ns pulse width and repetition rates from single-shot up to 10Hz with optional burst mode. The ER Series is designed with a focus on high pulse energy, short pulse width, efficient operation, and long lifetime reliability with a 10M shot lifetime rating.

JDL Series

The JDL series offers industry-leading high-power unmounted laser diode bars in the 760 nm – 1060 nm spectral region. Our unmounted laser bars provide a wide range of emitter configurations and cavity lengths, with operational modes up to 500 W. We offer low fill factor bars suitable for fiber coupling, high-power bars up to 300W for CW or hard-pulse DDL applications, and QCW bars up to 500W for QCW or long-pulse optical pumping and medical applications.

JOLD-Stacks Series

The JOLD–Stacks Series offers a highly modular approach for power scaling well into the kW range. The series features multimode, free-space laser diode stacks with options for 808, 940 & 980 nm, CW & QCW operation, and up to 2400 W average output power. We achieve optimal beam quality (BPP) by reducing the stack pitch without compromising cooling capacity. Our proven hard-solder technology and strictly monitored production processes ensure tried & tested reliability under even the harshest environmental conditions.

JOLD-Open Heatsinks Series

The JOLD-Open Heatsinks Series offers industry-leading, reliable, and cost-effective high-power free-space mounted diode lasers. Our proprietary heat sink and assembly technology, paired with our focus on advanced optical pumping and direct-diode-laser technology, results in diode lasers with unmatched performance. This series offers options from 792 nm up to 1035 nm, and average output powers up to 300 W.


The KAUKAS series is a compact, low-SWaP line of 1.54µm “eye-safe” Er:glass lasers. These nanosecond pulsed lasers feature a compact design that makes them suitable for integration into handheld, portable devices. The lasers deliver high pulse energy, repetition rates up to 5Hz, less than 3% energy stability, and a high-quality TEM00 beam. With configurable and customizable options, these features make the KAUKAS series a versatile choice for various applications such as LIDAR & laser ranging, LIBS, metrology, and instrumentation.

PowerMir Series

mirSense Product Family

The PowerMir series is a line of high-power, pulsed Quantum Cascade Lasers based on proprietary technology, available in turnkey benchtop systems, OEM driver + laser module, or HHL package. Our lasers operate in Quasi-Continuous Wave (QCW) mode, enhancing wall-plug efficiency and thermal dissipation. The PowerMir series is ITAR-free, featuring high-powered diodes that emit in the primary atmospheric transmission bands. Our lasers produce a circular TEM00 Gaussian beam for superior performance.

RPK Series

The RPK Series of multiple, single-emitter fiber-coupled diode lasers are available in wavelengths from 405nm thru 1550nm with up to ≈ 500W output power. Our specialized fiber-coupling techniques ensure high efficiency, stability, and superior beam quality, while rigorous inspections and burn-in procedures guarantee each product’s reliability, stability, and long lifetime. Highly customizable packages allow us to meet our customers’ specific needs, providing high-quality products at reasonable prices.