UV IR Image Combiner

Period of Performance: 11/20/2013 - 11/20/2015


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for a spatial and spectral beam combiner that integrates separate collimated ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) image sources into a single co-aligned image identical to the size and shape of both input images while preserving spectral characteristics of both, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to advance development of the new UV IR Image Combiner (UVIR) whose concept was successfully demonstrated to be feasible in Phase I by a scaled-down working prototype. We plan to develop a new Phase II UVIR device by integrating spectrally dispersive optics with broadband optics and innovatively combining dispersive components with broad band optics. This innovation enables the UVIR system to conjoin separate extended IR and UV collimated images into a co-registered single image. During Phase I, based on a detailed design modeling, optical materials and coatings selections, POC constructed testing prototypes, and successfully demonstrated UVIR with >70% optical transmission and >80% uniformity with resolution better than 100 µrad at 60 cm and minimal ghosting. In Phase II, POC plans to develop and demonstrate a full-scale prototype, and validate the spectral and spatial goals of the 6-inch aperture UVIR device combining a minimum of one UV and one IR image. BENEFIT: The UVIR system will be useful for many commercial applications, such as multiband sensors for gas plume detection, high-power laser beam delivery systems, including laser eye surgery, hyperspectral projectors and displays, and imaging spectrometer systems, as well as differential absorption LIDAR for measuring volatile organic compounds, aerosols, particulate matter, and other pollutants. UVIR also has potential for fluorescent imaging of cellular structures and biological tissue, industrial inspection equipment for product verification and test, laser machining and drilling, microlithography, tissue welding and wideband imaging systems. Potential customers include aerospace, biomedical, pharmaceuticals, environmental testing and monitoring, and other industries in the hyperspectral sensor market.