Radiation Hardened Optical Filters for Focal Plan Assemblies

Period of Performance: 03/07/2006 - 09/07/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

GH Systems, Inc.
655 Discovery Drive Suite 302
Huntsville, AL 35806
Principal Investigator


Missile Defense surveillance and interceptor sensor operations typically use cryogenically cooled infrared sensors that operate while being exposed to natural space radiation and possibly to nuclear weapon radiation, both of which have the potential to degrade system performance. USASMDC's Hardened Infrared Optical Components (HIROC) program test results indicate that cryogenically cooled optical filters are susceptible to low levels of ionizing radiation dose, and thus pose a potential problem in an operational scenario. A solution to this problem requires the development of radiation hardened infrared optical filters. The GH Systems' team, including Surface Optics Corporation and ATK Mission Research, is proposing a multi-phase program to develop and commercialize radiation hardened IR filters. The proposed Phase I effort will investigate the radiation damage mechanisms, develop strategies to fabricate radiation hardened IR filters, develop an overall technology development and test plan, and perform limited radiation testing and material characterization. Our planned Phase II efforts will include the finalization of radiation hardened design approaches, fabrication of filters, and radiation testing to provide design verification. The GH Systems' team plans to use current commercial processes to develop this radiation hardened optical filter providing prompt availability to MDA.