Calling it a global first, a BBC report says a new laser created by Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics is the size of a pack of playing cards and is one-tenth the cost of competing lasers.

The Scottish-made laser was created in collaboration with Optocap, an optoelectronics company based in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland, said the report.  The possible applications include the next generation of satellite navigation systems and new types of telecommunications.

According to the BBC, the researchers say precision sensors could improve navigation in aircraft encountering bad visibility.

The report notes it took a year of prototype development and testing to bring the new laser to market. "It's very satisfying to see it now available in the rapidly developing quantum technology market," said Dr Loyd McKnight, Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics..

The project was supported by the quantum technologies initiative of the innovation agency Innovate UK.