Conformal Array Superposition Sensor

Period of Performance: 04/19/2005 - 02/19/2006

$99.6K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Spectral Imaging Laboratory
2130 E Walnut Stret
Pasadena, CA -
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The U. S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has an interest in developing a very wide field of view (FOV) sensor that can be made conformal to an aircraft surface. The new sensor should be adaptable to imaging in both the visible and the 8 - 12 micron long wavelength infrared (LWIR) regimes. The optics of the sensor will resemble the eyes of arthropods, which have evolved tiny, multi-aperture structures consisting of large numbers of independent facets on a convex surface that can collect light through a very large FOV (i.e. 180 degrees). These "compound eyes" are built as conformal structures around the outside of an animal's head in order to displace a minimal volume for maximum utility. The large FOV and small, conformal shape make these optical architectures worthy of investigation for the AFRL seeker/sensor project. The Spectral Imaging Laboratory will design large FOV, conformal superposition optics that utilize multi-aperture array optics and shaped fiber optics. The superposition architecture is desirable because it can yield a 10,000 fold increase in sensitivity over apposition optics.