Period of Performance: 11/20/2008 - 05/20/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Optical Systems, Inc.
6767 Old Madison Pike
Huntsville, AL 35806
Principal Investigator


The Army needs smaller and cheaper precision weapon systems. Semi-Active Laser guidance (SAL), invented in the 1960 s at the Army Missile command, is a powerful approach to smart weapons. In the past, SAL seekers used quadrant detectors, narrow field-of-view optics, gimbals, and actuators. While very effective, they are expensive. Several programs are desperate for a low-cost solution. One driving tactical need for less expensive precision weapons is today s asymmetric warfare the need to hit more, softer targets while minimizing collateral damage means more, smaller precise weapons. Low-cost requires elimination of the mechanical gimbal, and therefore requires a wide field of view. The key to our solution is a ball lens that is inherently omni-directional, and thus the basis for an extremely wide field-of-view strap-down-seeker. Our solution involves a truncation that puts the detector into the correct plane for the desired field of view, Putting facets on the truncated surface allows us to use a narrower band filter to suppress sunlight.