Low Cost Molded Optics for Small Caliber Projectiles

Period of Performance: 11/07/2003 - 11/07/2005

$730K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CDM Optics, Inc.
4001 Discovery Drive, Suite 390
Boulder, CO 80303
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The Phase I effort demonstrated the feasibility of a low cost IR imaging system for use in high lethality, fire-and-forget projectiles. The imaging system was designed specifically for the Army's Light Fighter Lethality (LFL) Autonomous Seeker Projectile. The Phase I work combined two innovative technologies, an optical systems design process and a moldable IR material, to create a low cost optical system suitable for mass production. Wavefront Coding, a unique optical design paradigm developed by CDM Optics, integrates optics and signal processing to reduce the complexity of an optical system without impacting performance. The overall goal of the Phase II effort is to fabricate, test and deliver prototype optical seeker assemblies for guided small caliber fire and forget munitions. The imaging performance of these prototypes will enable robust target identification and tracking to ensure high lethality rates. The assembled prototypes, comprising a molded ogive attached to a projectile body, will form images in conjunction with a Wavefront Coded signal processing step. To meet this goal, the Phase II effort will further refine the preliminary system design using imaging performance metrics based on target detectability and identification, detector characteristics, and desired assembly tolerances of the anticipated product.