Corrective Optics Manufacturing for Aerodynamic Infrared Domes and Conformal Sensor Windows

Period of Performance: 06/15/2015 - 06/15/2017

$600K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Optimax Systems, Inc.
6367 Dean Parkway Array
Ontario, NY 14519
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Optical fabrication challenges exist before an IR conformal optical sensor system can be realized. These challenges will be addressed in the current Phase II proposal. For example, in current work, the deterministic polishing process will be extended to meet requisite optical specifications (i.e. figure, finish) for IR transparent freeform corrector elements. In addition, the fabricated corrector element will be evaluated for performance in a complete optical assembly. Development and testing of a complete assembly provides an important assessment of future optical tolerance requirements for IR conformal window or dome sensor systems. This feedback loop between designer and fabricator is critical to properly defining optical component specifications with an understanding of manufacturing limitations. Furthermore, working through the process from beginning (optical design) to end (system assembly and test) provides an accurate and realistic cost and delivery estimate. Finally, in order to make production of freeform corrector elements economically feasible, the fabrication process needs to be cost-effective and rapid. Hence, multiple cost saving measures will be developed and implemented to enable production of low cost, optically precise freeform optics at larger quantities.