Expertise and Experience
The following sections contain brief descriptions of the areas of expertise of PfSA and past projects with which we have been involved. Current concepts that are being developed for defense, energy, and biomedical applications are listed in the second section. The final section contains resumes of the two founders, Dr. Gary J. Linford and Dr. Shirley J. Pfeifer, including summaries of projects and line/project management experience. Further information in any of these areas is available upon request.
Technical Areas of Expertise
Design of solid-state, gas, free electron, chemical, molecular, hollow cathode, tunable semiconductor diode, and excimer lasers. Laser designs for high-power pulsed and low-power continuous-wave laser applications from the ultraviolet to the middle infrared spectral bands. Optical design and non-linear optical techniques developed for wavelength agility, improved beam quality, and high brightness.
Pfeifer Science Associates has developed a wide variety of laser applications depending upon customer needs. Use of lasers for detecting strain in transparent media, holography, phase conjugation, measuring size changes as small as a wavelength of light, measuring range, IFF systems, harmonic conversion, four-wave mixing, sensing time-varying magnetic fields in free space, measuring atmospheric pollution concentrations, laser-induced chemical reactions, video data transmission, secure communications, detecting snipers, intruder alert, etc., are examples of innovative laser applications investigated at PfSA.
Staff members at PfSA have had nearly thirty years experience with the development of inertial confinement fusion using pulsed high power lasers or heavy ion beams to implode various classes of cryogenic deuterium/tritium fusion fuel capsules (targets). This work began in late 1973 at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory using harmonically converted Nd-glass lasers configured with multiple beams. By delivering large amounts of short wavelength energy within a few nanoseconds, preheating of the cryogenic fusion targets via suprathermal electrons was avoided, thereby greatly enhancing target implosion and subsequent neutron yield. In 1992 PfSA staff participated in the design and development of the Prometheus-L and Prometheus-H fusion test reactor prototypes. The Prometheus-L fusion test reactor optimized the design of a Krypton Fluoride laser driver using a stimulated Brillouin pulse compressor and Raman beam combination to improve beam quality and shorten the excimer laser pulse duration. The Prometheus-H fusion test reactor design used a Pb heavy ion driver and superconducting magnetic storage rings to achieve enhanced performance levels.
Proof-of-Principle Experiments, Breadboards, and Brassboards
The small proof-of-principle laboratories at Pfeifer Science Associates are designed to permit the rapid testing of innovative concepts in the laboratory. By maintaining a large stock of mechanical breadboard components on-hand together with a sizeable inventory of non-linear crystals, polarizers, lenses and mirrors, optical breadboards and even brassboards can rapidly be assembled to meet demanding customer deadlines.
Optical designers and physicsts on staff have many years of experience with Code V and other optical design software for the design, component specification, tolerance analysis, and aberration analysis of optical systems and subsystems. ASAP and Fourier Transform-based propagation software are used for image analysis and performance prediction. Work in these areas includes design of telescopes, radiometers, lasers, phased arrays, sensors, biomedical illumination and detection subsystems, and end-to-end optical systems.
Many years of experimental research experience and code development has been performed, leading to expertise in the design of Raman conversion and beam-combination systems, SBS (stimulated Brillouin scattering) phase-conjugation and pulse compression systems, phased arrays for the co-phasing of laser beams, and techniques for threshold reduction of non-linear processes. Multiwavelength Raman oscillator, amplifier, and beam combination codes, SBS phase-conjugation codes, and phase-array codes have been developed for the design of these non-linear optical systems.
Computer simulations of physical processes, components, and instrumentation are developed in C++, Pascal, or Fortran. Detailed simulations of conceptual and experimental designs are developed for performance prediction and optimization. Results from detailed simulations and empirical data may be input into systems software, such as TK Solver, to perform top-level performance trade-off studies.
Stray Light Analysis
PfSA has extensive experience in the use of APART and GUERAP computer models of optical systems for the analysis of stray light suppression and design of baffling systems to improve S/N at the detector. Identification of stray light sources in the optical design and recommendations for "move it" or "block it" in the design of baffling systems is a crucial part of the overall design process of high performance systems.
Over the years, PfSA has developed a variety of secure laser communication systems designed to make crucial data streams inaccessible to would-be intruders or hackers. A patent has been issued for a secure "long laser" communication system. This type of system has been expanded to increase security, bandwidth, and flexibility. Other systems developed at PfSA involve secure laser-based video systems, steganographic techniques, novel methods for data exfiltration, proprietary laser designs, etc.
A variety of active and passive surveillance techniques have been employed by PfSA to provide novel surveillance methods for targets in the field. Exploitation of retroreflective signatures possessed by specific optical devices, including IR-guided missiles, sniperscopes, cameras, motion sensors, etc., permit location and identification. Data interception or exfiltration methods have been developed to meet specific customer requirements. Temporal, spectral, and polarization characteristics of recovered surveillance beams provide important information. Devices employed by PfSA include active laser-based surveillance systems as well as passive Fourier transform spectrometers, imaging spectrometers, large aperture surveillance telescopes, etc.
Novel remote sensing techniques have been employed by PfSA to identify and montor a variety of potential targets, inluding chemical plumes, air pollution, location of specific flora, buried land mines, chemical contamination, local magnetic fields, unusual mechanical vibrations, etc. Devices employed by PfSA include active laser remote sensing systems as well as passive Fourier transform spectrometers, imaging spectrometers, large aperture CCD camera systems, etc.
Patent Searches in electronics, imaging, pattern recognition, optics, nonlinear optics, lasers, sensors, spectroscopy/microscopy, and biomedical detectors and instrumentation.
Scientific software development for instrument control in breadboard/brassboard experiments, test equipment, auto-alignment of imaging systems, and data acquisition. Applications software for defense and commercial applications requiring Visual C++, C++/C, Pascal, Fortran, Html, Perl, or vi.
Recent Conceptual Design and Research Areas
LAN weapon grade nuclear material detection system
Single and multilevel secure long laser communication system*
Remote laser and mine detection and visualization system
Remote laser air pollution sensing
Water contamination measruements
Zeeman-tuned laser spectroscopy
Voigt effect atmospheric magnetic field sensor without instrumentalities
Heterodyne Doppler-shifted laser radar
Remote powering with CO2 laser
On-the-fly image deconvolution
Laser-triggered lightening discharges**
Specific molecule detection
Earth orbit-crossing asteroid detection
MEDUSA laser system**
Optical method for microwave interception/demodulation
Regenerative laser seismometer
Coherent ground-based Earth-orbit surveillance satellite detection and interrogation
Eye/camera protection system against high-power laser irradiation**
Phase-conjugated optical systems**
Cislunar laser for precise geographic measurements
Sparse array detection system
High-power laser SBS pulse compressor**
Raman laser beam accumulator*
Phase-conjugated phased array*
Active optical detection systems for snipers or IR-guided missile seeker heads
Novel data exfiltration systems
Z-axis modulation video reconstruction system
Data acquisition remote control robotic devices
Fiber optic evanescent wave detection system
Multiwavelength steganographic methods
TV surveillance camera and IR motion detector identification
Non-invasive detection of serum indices and analytes in primary sample tubes*
Homogeneous fluorescence detection of low-concentration analytes for near-patient testing**
* indicates US patent granted
** indicates US patent application in process
Background and Project Experience
Dr. Gary J. Linford
B.S. Physics - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Physics - University of Utah
Mission Research Corporation (1994-1998)
Consultant and Senior Scientist
- In his role as a Senior Scientist for Pfeifer Science Associates (PfSA), Dr. Linford consulted for Mission Research Corporation in developing proprietary techniques for identifying and characterizing covert optical surveillance devices, including IR motion sensors, hidden cameras, camoflauged vidicons, etc.
- Dr. Linford developed, designed, and constructed secure laser-based video transmission systems in which color television signals were transmitted covertly over a secure laser diode optical beam.
- Secure communication systems were developed, designed, and constructed to operate over ranges of hundreds of meters using an infrared long laser configuration featuring diode laser amplifiers.
- Important applications for temperature-tunable laser diode systems were exploited by tuning the lasers onto atomic absorption lines of selected atoms, such as sodium, cesium, oxygen, etc.
- Dr. Linford developed, designed, and delivered highly portable optical devices for detecting the presence of snipers or intruders using night vision telescopes. These detection devices were designed to function under a variety of adverse observational circumstances.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Max Planck Institutes (1975-1983)
- Principal Investigator - IR&D Programs
- Phased Array Combination of Laser Beams
- Raman Beam Combination
- Advanced Nonlinear Optics for Dynamic Optical Aberration Correction
- Consultant and Red Team Leader
- design test procedures for alignment of DSP/LCS Atlantic Laser Ground Station
- design and prototype development of common path interferometer, augmented Fourier transform spectrometers, and imaging spectrometers
- design and prototype development of SRS fluorescence oil spill detectors and optical scene generators
- development of ultra-light weight reflective optics for low Earth-orbit satellites
- field-tested prototypes
- development of risk reduction methods on synchronous orbit laser communication systems
- Team Leader - Inertial Confinement Fusion Reactor Design Study
- design of non-linear optical beam combination and pulse-compression systems
- code development and test of NLO computer models
- development of innovative heavy ion (Pb+2)driver design
- Chief Scientist - Optics and Directed Energy Laboratory
- design and development support of directed energy systems including
- neutral particle beams
- high power microwave
- free electron laser
- linear accelerator
- gas and solid state lasers
- optical pumping physics
- patented designs in the areas of optical systems, nonlinear optics, low earth-orbit satellite communication, and remote sensing instruments
- Project and Line Management
- Program Manager of the Raman Beam Combining Program
- Program Manager of the Preliminary KrF Laser Design Program
- Assistant Program Manager of the High Power Modular Components (Free Electron Laser) Program
- Manager of the Advanced Technology Department - which was responsible for proof-of-concept experiments in the areas of laser beam propagation, interaction of light with matter, adaptive optics, pattern-recognition, interferometry, and nonlinear optical devices
- Acting Manager of the Directed Energy Department - which was responsible for design of directed energy systems, fusion drivers, storage ring devices, single-beam linac systems, inertial confinement fusion diagnostics, optical systems and remote sensing systems
Hughes Aircraft Company and Academia
- Guest Scientist at Max Planck Institut für Quanten Optik in Garching, Germany - developed harmonic conversion optics to improve inverse Bremstrahlung fusion target coupling and designed image relay systems for laser amplifiers to insure good beam quality
- Lead Physicist at LLNL - for nonlinear optics experiments in Raman conversion and harmonic conversion
- Guest Scientist at Max Planck Institut für Quanten Optik in Garching, Germany - developed methods for improving inertial confinement fusion drivers and laser performance
- Group Leader at LLNL - developed large aperture, efficient, high radiance solid state laser amplifiers and designed of improved laser drivers
- Staff Physicist at LLNL - developed advanced high power laser diagnostics, including double exposure holography and fluorescence sensors
- Hughes Aircraft Company
- Section Head - responsible for the development of optical instrumentation and new laser sources; managed the design and development of successful infrared laser countermeasure systems and prototypes for NRL and USAF; design and built tunable laser system for measurement of atmospheric pollution for EPA
- Program Manager of the Optical Transmission Experiment - constructed innovative xenon and Nd:Yag long laser system (resonators to 30 km) for monitoring of atmospheric pollution, accurate measurement of distances for gravity-wave detectors, surveillance, and covert communication applications
- Group Leader - development of ruby, Nd:Yag, Nd:glass, and holmium solid state lasers; assistance in the original discovery of stimuated Raman scattering lasers
- Research/Teaching Assistant and Observatory Director at University of Utah - assisted in the design and construction of a new astronomical observatory featuring a 40 cm aperture Celestron catadioptric telescope; taught upper division recitation and laboratory classes
- Undergraduate Research Assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - under Prof. Charles Townes, performed research with pulsed, cryogenic ruby lasers and assisted in laser mode control vacuum deposition fabrication of laser resonator mirrors
- DoD Secret/Top Secret clearances, DoE Q clearance formerly held
- Over 80 publications (refereed journals) and presentations
- 19 patents held and pending in the areas of lasers, optics, communications, and instruments
Dr. Shirley J. Pfeifer
B.S. Physics - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Electrical Engineering - Stanford University
Ph.D. Optical Sciences - University of Arizona
Beckman Coulter (1993-1998)
Manager of Advanced Instrumentation, Advanced Technology Center
- near-IR turbidimetric detection of latex-based agglutination assays
- confocal microscopy fluorescence detection of microtiter plate-based heterogeneous immunoassays
- high-sensitivity, time-resolved fluorescence detection of low-concentration analytes in a homogeneous immunoassay
- diode array-based photometer detection of analytes and interferants with multivariate analysis techniques
- non-invasive fiber-optic detection of serum indices in the primary collection tube
- solid phase-based fluorescence detection system for DNA arrays
- optical tweezers for trapping and manipulation of biologicals
- time-resolved, single photon-counting detection system for automated, high-throughput multicapillary electrophoresis instruments in rapid DNA sequencing and sizing applications
Lockheed Aircraft Company and Academia
- Principal Investigator - IR&D Programs
- Hardware and software design and development of an automated laboratory facility for the measurement of scatter, transmission, absorption, and reflectivity characteristics of high performance infrared optical components
- Hardware and algorithm development for the auto-alignment imaging system of a sub-scale version of the Orbiting Solar Telescope
- Numerical models of broadband and multiwavelength Raman conversion and beam combination systems
- Numerical model of SBS phase-conjugation systems for optical train and laser amplifier aberration correction
- Numerical model of phased arrays of laser beams, analyzing the effect of tilt, decenter, and piston misalignments
- Numerical model development of laser resonators and kinetics of gain media in gas and excimer lasers
- Project Support
- Proof-of-principle experiments in the testing of threshold reduction concepts (ring resonator, four-wave mixing, and backseeding) for aberration correction by SBS phase conjugation
- Proof-of-principle experiments for the development of laser wavelength-shifting and beam combination by stimulated Raman scattering
- Optical analyses for directed energy and surveillance systems using Code V, APART, and ASAP programs
- Development of Fourier-transform optical propagation and laser resonantor codes
- Validation of numerical simulations with experiment
- Project and Line Management Positions
- Program Manager of the Raman-shifted Excimer Laser Enhancement Program
- Program Manager of the Raman Beam Combining Program
- Sub-Program Manager for Stimulated Brillouin Scattering on the APEX Program
- Non-linear Optics Group Manager
- Research Associate, University of Virginia - numerical simulations of the photoionization process using many-body techniques
- Research Associate, Stanford Research Institute - numerical simulations of the ionization and charge-exchange process in ion-atom collisions using Monte-Carlo techniques
- Research Assistant, University of Arizona - Stray light analyses, laser design, and theoretical atomic and molecular physics studies
- Associate Engineer, Lockheed Aircraft Company - radiometer and telescope design, IR sensor design, and stray light suppression analyses
- Visual C++
- HTML, Perl, vi
- DoD Secret/Special Projects clearances, DoE Q clearance formerly held
- Over 40 publications(refereed journals) and presentations
- patents held and pending in the area of biomedical instruments