Sentinel Photonics Awarded UK Government Funding

A new spin-out company called “Sentinel Photonics” will be rolling out a new batch of laser detection and protection items which have been made possible through research by the British Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). In summary, the technology allows for detecting the invisible lasers which are emitted by a number of weapons systems and identifying what type of threat is emitting said signal. This information may enable soldiers on the ground to take appropriate defensive action. The British government published an article in which it underscored the importance of this development, stating that “for the first time, protection from laser-based threats for dismounted soldiers is possible, potentially saving lives and improving survivability” and describing it as a “disruptive technology”.

An infographic portrays the new technology (UK Government)

The company’s first product, the Imaging-based Laser Warning and Event Recorder (iLWER), is described by the company as “a novel camera-based method of detecting both pulsed and continuous wave (CW) lasers on the modern battlefield” which will help in the company’s mission to “protect both users and equipment from laser threats to prevent loss of life and improve battlefield and mission effectiveness through improved situational awareness.”

The company has successfully applied for and received funding from the British Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA). Sentinel Photonic’s Chief Executive Officer, Hetti Barkworth-Nanton, shed some additional light on this grant:

“I would like to thank DASA for their support. These two grants, totaling £232,000, will help Sentinel accelerate its product development program and will see demonstrator products in the hands of our end users by the end of the year. By the end of the summer, I’m also pleased to announce that we will be seeking to launch a Venture Funding round and would welcome preliminary discussions with interested parties.”

The company was established by Ploughshare Innovations in 2019. In the future, it is expected to release a much greater variety of products which will be available for a wide variety of platforms.