Photonics; BMDO/02-211A-Optical Materials

Period of Performance: 09/23/2003 - 09/23/2008

$1.25MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

In this SBIR Phase II proposal, technologies necessary for multi-spectrum visible/Infrared spectrally tunable and spatially pixilated light modulators for scene projection in Hardware-in-the-Loop for sensors and seekers in the KHILS Facility will be developed. The technology base is the novel holographic liquid crystal. The modulators in series with laser beams will replace the current Resistive Emitter Array to provide a much wider scenarios simulation dynamics from low background IR scenes to very high radiance scenes at 3,000K in Wideband Infrared Scene Projector. With the enhanced performance featuring 12-bit modulation dynamic range, wide spectrum range from the visible to middle infrared, and low cost, the modulators minimize the cost and complexity of MDA Infrared guided interceptor systems. Other applications include optical modulators for LADAR beam scanning, 2D tunable modulators for multi/hyperspectral image systems, and high-speed multispectral modulators for optical correlators. This Phase II program is designed to develop two groups of prototypes, i.e., single pixel modulators and pixilated modulators. Liquid crystal material and fabrication procedures will be optimized for wide operation spectrum, high contrast ratio, low loss, low driving voltage, and fast speed. The pixilated prototypes will be implemented into KHILS facility for a real scene simulation test.