Areté Associates Lasers

Areté Associates, founded in 1976 by five scientists in Northridge, California, is a multi-disciplinary group specializing in technologies that primarily contribute to the defense markets. At the outset, Areté was tasked by the Department of Defense to help solve the challenge of detecting weak signals in heavy ocean clutter. For this challenge, Areté’s founders applied “first principles thinking,” an Aristotelian method of problem-solving that assesses the fundamental truths about the science at hand, not operating on assumptions and past history. 

As part of its research, Areté modeled sea waves, white caps, and surf to discover how factors such as current, temperature, and weather affect the ocean. The water modeling was so precise that it had been licensed for films such as Titanic over the years. Today, we work from seafloor to space, creating the best sensing products and software available. We have our employees to thank for our consistent excellence.

Areté provides compact, rugged, military compliant DPSS laser systems with high-pulse output energies and short-pulse durations. Areté lasers employ a novel thermal management design resulting in high efficiency and a low SWaP compared to other lasers in this class. In addition to bringing outstanding products to the market, Arete is committed to offering a world-class level of quality, customer care, and service.


To harness our world-class talent to provide superior solutions to national and global security challenges.


Leading-edge science and engineering protecting the nation and the world from seafloor to space.


• Creativity

• Integrity

• Passion

• Responsiveness

• Collaboration


We’re not your average defense company. We are quite different, and so are our people. For one thing, our people aren’t about punching a time clock. We are all about protecting our country.

Areté set out to make the ideal source for laser designators, developing the AIRTRAC-LD. Our Arete AIRTRAC-LD laser is one of the lowest SWaP, military grade, actively q-switched DPSS lasers available for long distance target designation. The AIRTRAC LD 1064 nm laser designator is fully compliant with NATO STANAG 3733, and therefore ideal for military deployment in laser designator systems. Similar configurations are available in the visible and ultraviolet wavelength regimes.  We also offer a wide range of output powers, pulse energies, and pulse widths in the “eye-safe” 1.5 µm near infrared (NIR) wavelength with our OT Series of MIL-Spec laser transmitters. Most of our MIL-Spec lasers are low SWaP OEM modules, with an ultra-compact, lightweight design and low power consumption, making them perfect for integration into handheld and portable devices, backpack units, gimbals and more.

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Wavelength Selection

Power Selection

Energy Selection

Pulse Width Selection

Rep Rate Selection


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. 

CEUV Series

R0Z2-Image-Compact-Efficient-UV-LaserThe CEUV series is a commercial line of compact and efficient DPSS laser sources, capable of operating over a wide range of pulsing conditions (duty-cycle and PRF), in a low SWaP package, with average power up to ≈5W @ 266nm, 10W @ 355nm or 532nm, 20W @ 1064nm. This series of DPSS lasers provides a combination of compact, efficient, and high-power performance in a rugged design suitable for harsh environments and airborne applications. The design has been tested in brassboard hardware and a prototype is being developed.