Optically Reflecting Flexible Membrane

Period of Performance: 02/06/2008 - 09/22/2008

$98.3K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Digital Fusion
5030 Bradford DriveBuilding 1, Suite 210
Huntsville, AL 35805
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Military imaging optics, such as rifle scopes, spotter scopes, and optics found on unmanned vehicles could be substantially better if the mechanical movement of optics for focus and zoom could be eliminated, without creating new problems associated with the rugged and harsh environment. The technology of liquid lenses has surfaced as a possible solution, but these lenses have problems with environment and limited wavelength range. Other materials and techniques must be investigated in order to meet the environmental requirements and spectral requirements simultaneously. For a single optic to cover the broadband range desired (0.4 to 5 µm), the idea of reflective optics comes to the forefront. The optic must be physically flexible in order to change its shape (curvature/focus), and be actuated by some non-mechanical means. This leads to the investigation of several classes of materials such as magnetostrictive and electrostrictive substrates and films to accomplish this task.