Arete 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 and AIRTRAC-6M. The AIRTRAC-LD laser is a Mil-Spec DPSS Laser designed for laser designation applications with pulse energies of >50mJ at 1064nm and STANAG 3733 compliancy. These ultra-compact laser designators are ruggedized to ensure reliable performance in some of the harshest operational environments. The lasers employ a novel thermal management design resulting in high efficiency and low SWaP compared to other lasers in this class.

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Airtrac Series

AIRTRAC-6M: Low SWaP High Energy Laser

The AIRTRAC series, from Areté’s Associates, is a ruggedized, high-shock, ultra-compact, actively q-switched, low-SWaP, DPSS laser, available with >90 mJ of pulse energy. Fully compliant NATO STANAG 3733 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, stable performance over the full temperature range with low beam divergence.