Advanced Analog Micro-lens Technology

Period of Performance: 05/21/2008 - 05/14/2011

$830K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Grassmere Dynamics
774 Bob Stiles Road
Gurley, AL 35748
Principal Investigator

Abstract

To better quantify the benefits from the advanced microlens technology developed in the Phase I we plan to have microlenses installed in three astronomical telescopes. In Phase II we are planning to complete the fabrication of the remaining 4 microlenses needed for Gemini telescope and ,also fabricate microlenses for SOR telescopes in New Mexico (NGAS)and Hawaii. This will provide a direct evaluation of advanced gray-scale technology from the end users point of view. Data will be collected from these telescopes to quantitify the performance improvements achieved. Our Plan also includes further development of gray-scale mask technology toward making smoother microlenses with better knife edge performance in Hartmann sensors. This will mean further development of phase-shift mask technology. We also plan on tackling the problem of larger format microlens arrays such as needed by (Thirty Meter Telescope) TMT. BENEFIT: The first commercial goal is to become the supplier of diffraction-limited anamorphic microlens arrays for Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensors in advance astronomical telescopes requiring multiple off axis artificial guide stars. The inclusion of such micro-lenses would allow Hubble like performance from grown based telescopes. The same technology that can produce these high quality anamorphic micro-lens arrays will have wide spread application to all micro-lens products. Current US market for micro-lens arrays is in excess of $30,000,000 dollars and supports several micro-lens and mask manufactures. The success of this SBIR would introduce a new more capable technology into the market place. This SBIR would advance the quality and sophistication of micro-optics manufacturing in the USA."