SOLON, Ohio, April 3 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department has awarded a phase I contract to Energy Focus Inc. to develop a new lighting technology to support the Hydra Rocket system.
Ohio-based Energy Focus was awarded a phase I small-business innovative research deal from the Defense Department for the development of a solid-state light-emitting diode, or LED, infrared flare.
Officials say the development contract is part of an effort to replace the M-278 Flare that the U.S. Army uses with its Hydra Rocket system.
"The technical challenges presented by the Army are tremendous, but at the end we will have made breakthroughs that should unlock the next-generation of LED lighting," Laszlo Takacs, Energy Focus director of research and development, said in a statement.
"The operational benefits of the LED Infrared flare include higher ignition reliability, little or no visible light output, and no risk of fires started on the ground or at the parachute components."