Professors Earn $275,000 in Contracts for Short-Pulse Laser Application Research

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech researchers will assist in optimizing a miniaturized laser for a military application to treat the effects of wounds caused
by improvised explosive devices.

Kunal Mitra, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Mary Helen McCay, Florida Tech research professor and director of the
National Center for Hydrogen Research, have earned a total of $275,000 in contracts from Raydiance Inc., a California start-up that specializes in the
miniaturization of a type of laser. The firm’s laser generates an ultrashort burst of photons so intense that the burst can vaporize matter without
creating heat. Their work is assisted by two other investigators, Barry Grossman of the Department of Computer and Electrical Engineering, and Susan
Earles, of the National Center for Hydrogen Research. The team will emphasize shrapnel removal and burn treatment.

Florida Tech, a Raydiance beta site, will apply the new funding to research in the fields of material and tissue ablation, laser-induced breakdown
spectroscopy, fluorescence and optical imaging. The work employs the ultrashort pulse desktop Raydiance 1552 nm laser.
Field treatment of complex wounds involves providing care with a minimum of equipment, time and complexity. The development of a single field-deployable
instrument for comprehensive wound characterization and treatment would address these requirements.

The goal of the Raydiance/Florida Tech project is to identify the laser processing parametrs for ablation without material collateral damage. The results
will affect materials used in numerous applications, such as such  materials that experience ultra-high temperatures and extreme environments
encountered during in space and defense applications.

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