Innovative Electro-Optically Responsive Filters Using High Figure-of-Merit Liquid Crystals Materials

Period of Performance: 09/29/2006 - 09/29/2008

$700K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Kent Optronics, Inc.
275 Martinel Dr. Suite W
Kent, OH 44240
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Central Florida
4000 Central Florida Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32816
Institution POC

Abstract

This STTR Phase II Program focuses on a simple and cost effective solution to an urgent challenge facing to today s U.S. military, i.e., protection of military personnel, sensors, and instruments from laser injury. The program also yields enabling devices for military directed energy (DE) system, multi- and hyper-spectral Ladar/Lidar, mine detector, and multi-wavelength optical beam steerer for tracking, ranging, measure and free-space optical communication. Kent Optronics (KOI) together with its research institution partner of the University of Central Florida will develop four spectrally responsive optical filter devices in near infrared (NIR) and short wave IR (SWIR) regions. The four prototypes are (1) spectrally responsive notch filter that dynamically knocks out a laser line within the filter tuning coverage range, (2) spectrally responsive band-pass filter in transmissive mode which dynamically passes a narrow band spectral component located within the filter tuning range, (3) auto-responsive laser protection device which automatically detects and analyzes incoming laser wavelength(s) as well as intensity and knocks out the laser line(s) when the laser beam(s) becomes a thread, and (4) two-binned switchable filter that covers the SWIR spectral region.