Innovative Manufacturing Process for Passive E-O Sensors

Period of Performance: 07/17/2003 - 01/17/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tanner Research
34 Lexington Avenue Array
Ewing, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator


High numbers of miniature interceptors will be widely used during ballistic missile mid-course intercepts to counter reentry vehicle (RV) decoys, IR countermeasures and penetration aids. To implement any miniature interceptor concept cost-effectively will require access to superior hardware at low-cost in many key areas. Two high-cost areas that can be significantly reduced by an intelligent manufacturing approach, facilitated by modern high-level integration, include: implementing a multimode, multicolor micro seeker system; and, embedding within the seeker system the multifunctional signal processing used for interceptor guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) that simultaneously detects, tracks and intercepts a very dim point target. Tanner Research will leverage ongoing MDA (cooled and un-cooled hyperspectral micro-seekers) and AFRL/MNGI (neuromorphic and biomimetic SP) contracts to define the high-level integration needed to implement low-cost seeker concepts with integral target detection, track and intercept SP. Our goal is to demonstrate, in our clean room, the mass fabrication techniques needed for volume manufacturing of highly integrated low-cost miniature interceptor seekers. Leverage ongoing development of mass fabrication techniques being perfected in the Tanner Research MEMS clean room in support of low-cost high quality manufacturing of multifunctional E-O seeker systems for use in endo-atmospheric and exo-atmospheric miniature interceptor applications. Mass fabrication, with high-level integration, provides the process technology to implement near-term a $1000 multifunctional seeker system, supporting the MDA goal of fielding a $15,000 miniature interceptor concept.