Opto-Silicon Pseudo-Phase-Conjugate Wavefront Control

Period of Performance: 12/17/1998 - 08/09/1999

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Topics

Abstract

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is seeking an innovative opto-silicon technology to support real-time parallel optical signal processing and wavefront control. The goal is to develop optoelectronic elements that link a high-resolution phase spatial light modulator (SLM) and an optically and electronically matched CCD photodetector array through a programmable digital interface, which implements adaptive and nonlinear wavefront correction and aberration-free imaging. Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes Opto-Silicon Pseudo-Phase-Conjugate (OSP2C) wavefront control technology capable of adaptive wavefront correction with high accuracy and wide dynamic range. In the OSP2C wavefront control device, a pseudo-phase conjugate corner-cube reflector array precisely couples optically matched SLM and CCD arrays. A commercial 256x256 CCD array with a 200 Hz frame rate and a fast ferroelectric liquid crystal SLM with 128 phase modulation levels (0 to 2) are used in a feedback active optical system that also includes a multi-chip module digital controller. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate feasibility by designing an adaptive wavefront control system with the necessary accuracy and dynamic range for image sharpness estimation and adaptive gradient descent optimization. BENEFITS: The OSP(2)C wavefront control technology constitutes a low-cost means to fast and reliable adaptive wavefront correction and aberration-free imaging. Applications include real-time small target tracking and recognition, adaptive binoculars and sniperscopes, reconnaissance imaging, military and industrial robots, recognition and identification systems for machine vision, free-space communication, and optical shop testing.