*** See Miscellaneous for "seeker" optics for miniature swarming, insect-like seeker missiles/aircraft.

New items (01-14-2001) are in BLUE

TERAOPS

1051 Cragmont Avenue

Berkeley, CA 94708 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (510) 204-9555

Tibor Kozek

NAVY 00-089 Title: Compact, Light Weight Color Night Vision Goggles Abstract: TeraOps Corporation proposes to develop techniques for reproducible coloring of nighttime imagery and to implement a color night vision device based on TeraOps' powerful CNN array processing technology. In addition to CNN, the unit will combine other state-of-the-art technologies including miniature image intensifiers and high-contrast head mounted displays to create a low-power, portable unit that meets operational requirements. TeraOps will exploit the unique architecture of the CNN supercomputer-on-a-chip and its more than 10 to the 12th operations per second computing speed to implement the developed algorithmic techniques in real-time. These spatial-temporal image-processing algorithms will perform enhancement and adaptive, reproducible coloring of night imagery input through the integrated multi-band sensor. The algorithms will draw upon studies of biological image processing as well as on CNN models for color constancy and color visualization developed earlier by TeraOps researchers Colorized night vision goggles will greatly enhance the navigational and target recognition capabilities of military personnel. Color night vision units are expected to be of significant use for commercial aviation, police, rescue, and other civilian surveillance applications. Moreover, the CNN computer is a general- purpose machine that can be programmed to perform a variety of sophisticated image processing functions. The development of the CNN-based image processing engine will facilitate the development of products for real-time medical imaging (ultrasonic, MRI, CT, etc.), high-resolution displays, augmented reality systems, "smart" video cameras for automatic image acquisition, etc. The CNN computer will also be applicable to high-speed image processing for multimedia and video conferencing.

 

IC TECH, INC. 4295 Okemos Road Suite 100 Okemos, MI 48864

Phone: PI: Topic#: (517) 349-9000 Gail Erten BMDO 00-010

Title: Ultra low power motorless pan/tilt control for single chip cameras

Abstract: This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will investigate and implement a low power motorless camera pan/tilt mechanism and control. The platform, as well as the image processing and control modules will be tailored for single chip and miniature cameras that can be readily interfaced with personal computers. A wide expanse of fields, ranging from the biological modeling of the ocular motor system to the engineering design of adaptive control mechanisms, will be put to use upon the proposed work. Rather than using motorized mechanisms, shape memory alloy (also known as "muscle") wires are proposed as the means of actuation. The control objective during Phase I of this project will be to position an object of interest, e.g., a face or a hand, on the center image plane. A variety of control procedures will be investigated, including, first the conventional PID method, as well as methods based on sophisticated kinematics and dynamics models of the actuation platform, best described as nonlinear differential equations. A demonstration is planned at the end of Phase I to illustrate the results. The novel vision oriented control techniques developed and implemented during this project will expand the domain of vision based human-machine interaction. Moreover, an active camera can facilitate an enhanced telepresence experience through video. As a participant in the SBIR Fast Track program, IC Tech has an established ongoing commercialization process and the proposed project is fully aligned with that on going effort.

 

VOXTEL, INC.

2640 SW Georgian Place

Portland, OR 97201 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (503) 224-8379

George Williams

NAVY 00-089 Title: Compact, Light Weight Color Night Vision Goggles Abstract: Voxtel Inc. proposes to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies for combining infrared and low light sensor that, when integrated into a lightweight, low-power, rugged, reliable helmet mounted package, will provide high information content, fused IV/IR imagery and color night vision capability. Due to the complementary nature of the spectral bands, such thermal and low light level sensors are ideally suited for image fusion. In flight demonstrations, pilots have found that fused imagery maximized information content and provided the most contrast when compared to either sensor alone. In the proposed Phase I program, Voxtel Inc. will demonstrate high information content, fused color night vision imagery. An application driven tradeoff will be performed to analyze the respective information contributions of visible (0.4 - 1.1 mm) back-illuminated CCD and (0.4 - 0.9 mm) intensified CCD cameras, NIR (0.4 mm - 1.7mm) InGaAs sensors, and uncooled infrared sensors both individually and when fused using Color Night Vision algorithms. Testing and algorithm development/validation will be performed on the existing PixelVision multi-processor image fusion test bed. A color night vision goggle concept will be developed. During the Phase I program, PixelVision, taking into consideration the state-of-the-art in technologies, will design a common aperture, helmet mounted dual VIS/LWIR Color Night Vision system with a belt mounted color night vision fusion processor that will be manufactured in the Phase II effort. Color night vision goggles would be of great value to policemen, sportsmen, surveillance personnel, FBI and other organizations requiring enhanced night vision capabilities. Variations on this design could improve drive vision in cars and trucks traveling at night, and would be particularly useful in fog or other conditions that obscure viewing but are transparent to infrared.

 

PC PHOTONICS 64 Windward Way Waterford, CT 06385

Phone: PI: Topic#: (860) 443-4356 Peter K. Cheo AF 00-002

Title: Injection Locking of a Clad-Pumped Multicore Fiber Laser Array

Abstract: This proposal introduces an innovative idea to generate a very high output power from a clad-pumped multicore fiber laser array embedded in a common low loss cladding with a unique "isometric" structure. An injection technique is used to actively phase lock the array emitting in the in-phase supermode. A double-clad multicore fiber laser array consisting of a total of seven single-mode fibers spaced within a circle of 28 micron in diameter will be used. A computer analysis of the far-field radiation patterns indicated that a high brightness laser beam with an amplitude 40 dB greater than the side lobes, can be obtained form this multicore fiber laser array for the in-phase supermode with a V-value of ~2 and a core separation of 1.5 times the core diameter. We have also analyzed threshold requirements for generating supermodes by using coupled mode theory. Results indicate that the thresholds for the higher order supermodes are lower than that of the fundamental supermode. Therefore, an injection-locking technique must be developed to suppress the higher order supermodes. Under the Phase I-SBIR, various injection schemes will be explored for the purpose of establishing a stable laser oscillation in the fundamental in-phase super mode of phase locked, clad-pumped fiber laser array. Other important issues to be addressed in Phase I are: the optimum core size and core separation for scaling the output power from a clad-pumped fiber laser array up to 1 kW, and the cladding dimension which can reliably accommodate the pump laser power to 1.6 kW at 915 nm without causing catastrophic damage to the cladding material.

LAMBDA INSTRUMENTS

1607 Glade Road

Blacksburg, VA 24060 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (540) 953-0568

Jon Greene

AF 00-022 Title: Gratings for High-Power Yb-doped Fiber Lasers Abstract: High-power fiber lasers are emerging as viable alternatives to traditional gas and solid-state laser systems for many military and industrial applications. The advantages of fiber lasers are numerous: extremely high damage thresholds, excellent beam quality, superior wavelength and temperature stability, small size, and very high powers using novel double-cladding fiber (DCF). Another advantage of using fiber as the lasing medium is the unique ability to fabricate mode conversion gratings directly within the fiber laser cavity for manipulation of both the signal and pump light. During Phase I, Lambda Instruments proposes to investigate the performance of novel fiber gratings as laser mirrors, pump light mode converters, and as signal light mode converters within future kilowatt-class fiber laser systems. To assist in the design, fabrication, and characterization of fiber gratings, Lambda has assembled a highly-experienced development team. The development team proposes to investigate the feasibility of advanced grating technology during Phase I, finalize the development of grating components for fiber laser applications during Phase II, and work with industry partners to commercialize advanced fiber laser and amplifier systems during Phase III and beyond.

 

PHYSICAL OPTICS CORP. Engineering & Products Div. 20600 Gramercy Place, Torrance, CA 90501

Phone: PI: Topic#: (310) 320-3088 Tin M. Aye AF 00-076

Title: Compact HMD Optic System Based on Multiplexed Aberration Compensated Holographic Optical Elements

Abstract: Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop novel, compact, lightweight wide field-of-view optics for head (and helmet) mounted displays (HMDs) based on three-color multiplexed aberration-compensated holographic optical elements (Mac-HOEs). Taking advantage of the flexibility of holography, the HMD optics can be made compact using waveguide projection through the curved visor substrate, filling a wide field of view (FOV) without large, bulky optical components. This waveguide projection optics approach would be particularly suitable for applications that require see-through capability. The proposed Mac-HOE projection optics can also be implemented as on-axis low F-number wide FOV collimating optics, similar to the "pancake window", but more compact and with not less than about 90% light efficiency. Using narrowband red-green-blue Mac-HOEs can significantly reduce the chromatic and geometrical aberration introduced by conventional HOEs and refractive optics. The proposed HMD optics will be most suitable for laser scanned displays, in which elaborate optical components are otherwise required to achieve high pixel resolution with a large exit pupil diameter. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed HMD optics through computer design and analysis, and by fabricating and demonstrating a Mac-HOE component.

 

OPTRA, INC.

461 Boston Street

Topsfield, MA 01983 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (978) 887-6600

Julia H. Rentz

AF 00-095 Title: Dual Channel Remote Infrared Thermographer Abstract: OPTRA proposes a dual channel remote thermographer comprised of two infrared interference filters with nearby spectral passbands in front of uncooled amorphous silicon microbolometer detectors. The difference signal between the two channels indicates a shift in the emitted spectrum of the target; for a quasi-blackbody, this spectral shift is proportional to temperature according to Planck's blackbody function. This system offers high resolution (0.001 C) and accuracy (0.01 C) and is insensitive to changes in emissivity of the target. Our system is designed with reflective collection optics and an extremely narrow field of view (0.06 degrees or a 10 cm spot size at a 100 m standoff), allowing a target's skin temperature to be measured in the absence of background radiation.

 

PHYSICAL SCIENCES, INC.

20 New England Business Center

Andover, MA 01810 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (978) 689-0003

John Lennhoff

AF 00-141 Title: Processing of Inflatable Parabolic Reflectors from Polymeric Thin Films Abstract: Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) will utilize a novel membrane reinforcement method on this proposed Phase I SBIR effort to demonstrate the ability to eliminate shape-related optical aberrations common to polymeric inflatable parabolic reflectors. Hencky model based calculations indicate that reinforcement required to correct the reflector optics are in the 1 micron size range. Conventional reinforcement methods have been unable to provide sizes of this thickness. A new method, pioneered by PSI, will provide circumferential and radial location specific reinforcement of the membrane by generating and then bonding small diameter (100 to 3000 nm) polymeric fibers directly to the thin membrane in sequential steps. The locations of the reinforcement of the membrane before inflation will be derived from a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model of the parabolic surface based upon mechanical properties of the polymer membrane, the Henke model of inflatable membranes and optical measurements of the inflated membrane reflector. The optical measurements provide the specifics of the geometric aberrations. PSI will demonstrate the ability to accurately and inexpensively correct optical aberrations of inflatable parabolic reflectors using the newly developed method.

WRIGHT MATERIALS RESEARCH CO. 3591 Apple Grove Dr. Beavercreek, OH 45430

Phone: PI: Topic#: (937) 643-0007 Seng C. Tan AF 00-141

Title: Processing of Deployable, Metallized Parabolic Reflectors from Biphenyl Endcapped Poly(Arylene Ether) Polymers

Abstract: Space mirrors with ultra-lightweight, high temperature stability, space durability, and high precision are highly desirable to improve the resolution and light-gathering ability of space structures. A number of currently used polymeric materials for space applications have shown signs of deterioration due to the space environmental effects. Fabrication cost of large components is another major issue. In this Phase I research, we propose to develop a free forming technique to process space reflectors using AFRL's biphenyl endcapped poly(arylene ether) thermoplastic polymers. This family of polymers have excellent resistant capability to atomic oxygen and ultra-violet light exposure. Thin films casted from these polymers will be metallized using a chemical route rather than by the conventional coating techniques to reduce the interfacial stresses and eliminate the interfacial bonding problems. They will then be transformed into parabolic shapes with small focal numbers. A series of microscopic analysis and thermal-mechanical testing will be performed to examine the samples fabricated. The proposed research will result in a processing technique and highly reflective thin films for space, deployable mirrors with exceptional thermal-mechanical properties, and controllable uniform thickness at affordable price.

 

MP TECHNOLOGIES, LLC

1500 Sheridan Road, Unit 8A

Wilmette, IL 60091 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (847) 491-7251

Hooman Mohseni

AF 00-156 Title: Materials for Superlattice Infrared Detectors Abstract: Recently, novel electronic and optoelectronic devices such as hundred gigahertz logic circuits, room temperature infrared lasers, and detectors have been demonstrated from III-V based mixed anion heterostructures. The importance of the interfaces quality and crystal perfection in this material system has been proven to be the key issue by many groups. The objective of this project is to develop epitaxial growth techniques that will significantly increase the interface smoothness and abruptness, as well as the material crystal quality. The proposed growth techniques and source material switching sequences will reduce some of the fundamental growth problems such as cross incorporation, cation and anion segregation, and atomic exchange. These techniques are expected to result in a root mean square (rms) surface roughness below 1/2 monolayer over large areas, abrupt interfaces, and high crystal quality reproducibly.

SONOMA DESIGN GROUP

400 Breezewood Dr.

Geyserville, CA 95441 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (707) 857-2010

Allan Voigt

AF 00-256 Title: Low Cost Electro-Optical Reconnaissance Sensor System Abstract: The development of high altitude, long standoff UAVs for the Air Force creates the need for high performance long standoff gimbaled optical sensor systems that are significantly more cost effective than previous generations originally developed for more expensive manned reconnaissance aircraft. To obtain high performance and low cost we have combined a modular approach to the system design with the use of COTS sensors and electronics. The sensors and electronics are housed in an elegant, low parts count, simple to manufacture gimbal system. The gimbal can easily be scaled to a range of gimbal sizes typical of those required for Air Force applications. This will represent a breakthrough product combining unprecedented gimbaled sensor performance and low cost. We intend to build this system for one-third to one-half the cost of current systems. The Government will realize very substantial cost savings from fielding these systems.Sonoma Design Group has formed a team of capable companies to carry the effort from design to production. During Phases I and II, SDG will do the initial system design and fabrication. Upon completion of Phase II, our team will carry the reconnaissance system into production.

SSG, INC. 65 Jonspin Road Wilmington, MA 01887

Phone: PI: Topic#: (978) 694-9991 Michael I. Anapol AF 00-256

Title: Next Generation Staring Reconnaissance Sensor

Abstract: SSG is proposing a low cost, next generation high altitude/long range Staring Reconnaissance sensor that provides a smaller overall size, weight and power solution with significant improvements over current gimballed whiskbroom and limited FOV pushbroom approaches; e.g., simpler LOS control at very high precision; high agility multi-mode coverage capability; high resolution imaging and high sensitivity even with a reduced aperture size due to longer stare time and sub-pixel image processing using microscan techniques; and inherent athermal operation over non controlled UAV temperature excursions. Lower cost can be achieved due to a smaller aperture size; advanced SiC telescope manufacturing techniques including bolt together construction; and utilization of commercially available optical encoders, fog gyros and large area digital 2 D CCD arrays with internal image processing and electronic stabilization control. The integration of several key enabling technologies will dramatically improve mission performance and utility, while significantly lowering payload cost. Key technologies include (1) commercially available, large 2 D visible CCD arrays (9000 x 9000 format) with integrated on chip multi-color operation using striped filters and electronic processing; (2) ultralightweight, thermally stable SiC reflective telescope (Vis to IR for day/night operation); (3) sub microradian LOS control over wide Fields of Regard using an inertially stabilized pointing mirror with a highly innovative optical fringe counting encoder (<20 nrad LSB resolution) and smart bearings; (4) sub-pixel image enhancement algorithms combined with a microscan mode; and (5) potential integration of a wide FOV hyperspectral imaging spectrometer for improved target detection against highly cluttered and camouflaged scenes. Phase 1 will develop the preliminary design of the staring Reconn sensor with supporting analyses to validate overall performance and cost advantages. Phase 2 will develop prototype(s) of the key enabling technology subsystem(s), preferably as flight demos. SSG has already obtained very strong commercial support from Emerge (a Division of TASC that distributes commercial remote sensing data products), who is planning to commit matching Phase 2 funding for a next generation commercial airborne digital camera.

 

ARDAL ELECTRONICS, INC.

1165 Sessions Drive

Dayton, OH 45459 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (937) 432-0040

Allan Lightman

DARPA 00-010 Title: Layered Manufacturing of GRIN Optics Abstract: A layered manufacturing process is proposed for solid freeform production (SFF) of gradient index of refraction (GRIN) optics. The process will be based upon modifying a commercial off-the-shelf ink-jet printer to deposit "inks" composed of mixtures of liquid monomer and ceramic nano-particulates, each "ink" having a different concentration of ceramic. The multiple "ink" reservoir heads will provide "inks" with finely graded ceramic loadings, so that the printing process will be able to achieve concentration gradients with optical quality smoothness. The printer will be controlled by a GRIN CAD system that will optimize the performance of printed optic, using the known performance of the materials and the printer. Use of layered manufacturing will permit production of optic elements with arbitrary three-dimensional index of refraction profiles, a goal that cannot be achieved by current GRIN manufacturing systems. This system will enable a major advance in optical systems for DoD applications, providing lighter weight optics having optical properties not achievable by either current standard or GRIN lens fabrication. Furthermore, the SFF approach will yield cost-effective first-article optics and it can be scaled to to meet full production needs.

 

SMART PIXEL, INC.

1416, Dunrobin Rd

Naperville, IL 60540 Phone:

PI:

Topic#: (630) 248-7441

Renganathan Ashokan

BMDO 00-003 Title: Large format HgCdTe/CdTe/Silicon infrared focal plane arrays based on MBE technology Abstract: The infrared technology has provided the theatrical superiority to U.S Defense. Intensive research and development efforts have led to the existence of a robust infrared focal plane array (IRFPA) technology for small and medium size formats. 256 x 256 IRFPAs are available for inclusion into military systems and 480 x 640 have been demonstrated. Ongoing production programs include JAVELIN, SADA II, JASSM, and AGM130. Large format IRFPA is a critical technology to enhance the resolution and range of detection to meet the U.S future security needs. HgCdTe IRFPAs with 1024 x 1024 elements have been identified as the candidate for the new generation of IRFPAs. The thermal mismatch between the CdZnTe and the readout circuit limits the extension to larger formats. An alternative technology is proposed here, the essence of which is the replacement of the exotic CdZnTe substrate with a readily available and inexpensive silicon (Si) substrate. We propose to exploit the recent advances in molecular beam epitaxially grown HgCdTe/CdTe/Si to produce large format (1024x1024), high resolution IRFPAs. No supplier, domestic or foreign, for mega pixel IRFPAs exists. Optimization of the proposed technology will lead to rugged, low cost, high density and high resolution IRFPAs with operability >99.9%. Large format focal plane arrays will find enormous applications in military, space and medical imaging areas for infrared imaging and low-background detection. It will be particularly suitable for military's intelligence, countermeasure operations and NASA's space based spectroscopic applications. HgCdTe based devices, with the advantage of small electron mass, high mobilities, large electron saturation velocities have considerable advantages for a variety of new micro-electronic and optoelectronic applications. SPI is fully committed to fabricate and commercialize infrared detectors and arrays if this program is successful. Smartpixel Inc will work closely with Northrop Grumman DS to integrate it into the systems.

 

 

 


ASTROPOWER, INC.
Solar Park
Newark, DE 19716 Phone:
PI:
Topic#: (302) 366-0400
Margaret H. Hannon
BMDO 96-005 Title: High Voltage GaAs Solar Cell for Linear Concentrator Arrays Abstract: AstroPower proposes to develop a new high voltage solar cell for photovoltaic linear concentrator arrays based on our thin GaAs solar cell and epitaxial lateral overgrowth technologies and applying lateral segment interconnection techniques. This solar cell design has several advantages which make it ideal for space concentrator systems. These are high system voltage (10 to 500 volts per cell), reliable low-cost interconnections, design flexibility, costs are independent of array voltage, and low power loss from shorts, opens, and impact damage. The low system current results in minimal I2R losses while the device design allows for minimal shading and resistance losses. This concentrator solar cell will incorporate the benefits of light trapping by growing the device active layers over a low-cost, simple, PECVD deposited silicon/silicon dioxide Bragg reflector. The projected power density is 5 kW/m2 for an AM0 efficiency of 26% at 1 5X. This solar cell design is capable of meeting the high voltage requirement of electric propulsion systems, without the complex stringing required by conventional solar cell designs. The proposed technology meets the requirements of linear concentrator arrays being developed such as SCARLET for the New Millenium Program and future BMDO satellites, but can be applied to any concentrator system.


BOOKS FOREVER
25A Clinton St.
Waltham, MA 02154 Phone:
PI:
Topic#: (617) 244-2485
Mark Kauderer
BMDO 96-010 Title: Phase Conjugation with Loss or Gain Abstract: Phase conjugation, discovered over 20 years ago, now has a wide assortment of applications. However, phase conjugation requires that the medium in which the phase conjugation takes place in be lossless. Based on recent preliminary research for which it is anticipated a patent will be applied for, it now appears possible for a limited though important class of materials to extend the phase conjugation concept to loss or gain. Specifically, the loss or gain medium must be first order, that is have a symplectic matrix representation. Prototypical devices satisfying this condition are Gaussian apertures, Gaussian ducts, and Gaussian "lasers". It has been proved recently that any first order system with loss or gain can be modeled exactly using such devices, which indicates that a phase conjugator for loss or gain can indeed be built, at least in principle. It is easy to show mathematically that for first order systems this generalized phase conjugation reduces to just ordinary phase conjugation when the system is lossless


NZ APPLIED TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
150 C New Boston Street
Woburn, MA 01801

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 935-2030
H. Paul Maruska
BMDO 96-011
Title: Ternary Nitride Semiconductors as Nonlinear Optical Materials
Abstract: NZ Applied Technologies proposes to develop plasma-enhanced metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (PE-MOCVD) to create optically clear single crystal films of several unexplored ternary nitride semiconductors to study their nonlinear optical properties, and to use them for frequency doubling of visible and near IR lasers into wavelengths ranging from green to violet. Ternary nitrides appear to be excellent candidates for second harmonic generation (SHG) because they are transparent in the visible and, due to their noncentrosymmetric (rhombohedral) crystal structure, must exhibit birefringence; the latter is a basic requirement for phase-matching. Use of activated nitrogen from a plasma will permit them to be grown with low defect densities, a must for minimizing optical losses when configured as waveguides. The ability to produce these nitrides as waveguides will increase the interaction length between primary and secondary fields, giving significantly higher power conversion efficiency. Phase matching can further be enhanced by applying external fields transverse to the ternary waveguides. Phase I will determine the conditions needed to grow these new ternary nitride films. Grown films will be measured to determine structural, optical, and electrical properties. A simple second harmonic generation (SHG) experiment will be performed. In Phase II, growth conditions will be optimized and functioning SHG devices demonstrated.

WITECH (WIDEGAP TECHNOLOGY)
6266 Marlborough Dr.
Goleta, CA 93117

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(805) 964-9419
David Kapolnek
BMDO 96-014
Title: Full Color Monolithic GaN-based LED's
Abstract: WiTech (WideGap Technology) proposes to develop the monolithic fabrication of full color light emitting diodes (LED) based on group-III nitride materials. The main goal of phase I is the fabrication of super high efficiency LED's and LED arrays on a single chip using band gap engineering of (Al,Ga,In)N alloys and advanced techniques of nitride materials growth. These LED's will have enormous potential as white light source as we estimate energy efficiencies superior to tungsten light bulbs. During phase I we will develop selective area epitaxy as growth technique to monolithic synthesize material with bright multiple wavelength luminescence. The achievement of the phase I project will facilitate the phase II development of integrated red-green-blue LED's. The merit of the final devices will be the combination a compact light emitter design with the superior efficiency and output power of nitride LED's capable of emitting the full range of the visible light spectrum from red to blue and of generating white light. Due to the thermal and mechanical stability of nitride materials, the devices will reliably operate even under extreme thermal conditions in a hostile environment.

BRIMROSE CORP. OF AMERICA
5020 Campbell Blvd., Suite E
Baltimore, MD 21236

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(410) 668-5800
Susan Kutcher
DARPA 96-043
Title: Vanadium Doped Zinc Telluride (ZnTe:V): A Novel Non-Linear Optical Material for Sensor Protection at Visible Wavelengths
Abstract: During the proposed phase I research program, Brimrose will develop and produce an improved material for optical power limiting to protect against jamming and build a prototype of this device. Using vanadium doped zinc telluride, we will fabricate an electro-optic power limiter (EOPL) that operates at visible wavelengths. The approach of using a doped II-VI semiconductor for power limiting was previously demonstrated by Dr. Steiers research group at the Center for Photonics Technology at the University of Southern California [ref. 1 of proposal]. In close collaboration with the U.S.C. group, Brimrose has developed various transition metal doped II-VI compounds for photorefractive optical image processing. Recently, we have developed a concept of tailoring these materials for optical limiting applications. By controlling material processing parameters, material with improved response time and increased sensitivity will be produced. It has already been established that the damage threshold of ZnTe:V is superior to that of its organic and polymeric competitor materials. A limiter fabricated from this material will be compact and light as well as simple in operation without requiring the extensive or complex external optical systems that are typically required in conventional optical limiters. The device will exhibit low threshold with a response time in submicroseconds. Most importantly, it will simultaneously block a high intensity jamming beam of laser radiation while still transmitting the desired low intensity image.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING GROUP, INC.
11020 SOLWAY SCHOOL RD
KNOXVILLE, TN 37931

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(423) 927-3717
MR JAMES G CARTER
AF 98-168
Title: NOVEL INFRARED PHOTON DETECTOR
Abstract: We propose to develop a new kind of photon detectors based on the photo-induced stress in semiconductor microcantilevers. We will measure the photo-induced stress for various semiconductor materials as a function of a number of parameters such as microcantilever geometry (length, width, thickness), input radiant power, and modulation frequency of input radiant power. This information will allow us to demonstrate the ability of microcantilever photon detectors to sense IR radiation with high sensitivity (D* > 10(11) cm Hz(1/2) W(-1)) and fast response times (<10(-6) s) based on the novel concept described in this proposal. The proposed IR photon detector has the following benefits compared to other IR detectors: (i) no cryogenic cooling, (ii) fast response times, (iii) high sensitivity, (iv) no need for thermal isolation, and (v) low cost due to established monolithic IC fabrication compatibility.

HY-TECH RESEARCH CORPORATION
104 Centre Court
Radford, VA 24141
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(540) 639-4019
Edward J. Yadlowsky, PhD
BMDO 98-001
Title: Development of a Soft X-ray Laser At 45 A Using A Z-Pinch Discharge To Photopump A1 XII With Si XIII
Abstract: The broad applicability of soft x-ray lasers to metallurgy, dense plasma diagnostics, nano/micro lithography, study of biological cells, and directed energy weapons has prompted a widespread search for lasing media. Gain has been demonstrated in plasma Droduced by large high Dower optical laser systems and pulse power Z pinch systems or in smaller capillary discharges which have a limited energy output. The resonant photo excitation of helium like A1 ions by helium like Si ions is proposed to generate soft x-rays at 45 A. A novel technique will be used to generate the required two component plasma using a pulse power discharge. A coaxial geometry will be used to efficiently pump the A1 lasant surrounding the Si pump. This geometry is expected to reduce requirements on the pulse power system making low cost soft x-ray lasers possible.

RADIANT RESEARCH, INC.
9430 Research Blvd., Echelon IV,Suite 305
Austin, TX 78759

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 338-4521
Jeffery J. Maki
BMDO 98-003
Title: Molecular-Chirality Sensor using an Electro-Optic-Polymer-Based Circular-Polarization Modulator
Abstract: The proposed innovation is a miniaturized circular-polarization-state (CPS) modulator for producing a laser beam that alternates in time between left- and right-hand-circular (LHC/RHC) states of polarization, which would replace bulky photoelastic, liquid-crystal, and inorganic-crystal polarization modulators. Innovative is its use of a single-mode polymer waveguide with a controllable amount of birefringence, via the electro-optic effect, to adjust the polarization state of a laser beam. It has a very small mass, low power consumption, and very compact size. Other desirable attributes are its use of no moving parts, no expensive birefringent crystals (e.g., calcite), low voltages (~10 V), and a single high-speed driving-voltage source. Furthermore, it can operate at arbitrary speeds up to 101s of GHz and has an adjustable wavelength of operation (i.e., 700-1600 nm). The innovation will form the central portion of sensors for detecting chirality. A signature of chirality is natural optical activity, where light passing through chiral materials exhibits circular dichroism and optical rotatory dispersion. Related effects can also occur in reflected light, where for instance the magnitude of the reflectivity can be different for LHC and RHC light. Most biological material is chiral. Thus the proposed modulator would aid in target recognition, since a remote sensor based upon it would be able to discern biological materials from typically achiral man-made materials used in camouflage. Key to detecting chirality is a source of both LHC and RHC light of high purity, which the proposed innovation provides.

SUNDYE
7 Willow Dr.
Townsend, MA 01469

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 597-5146
Harry Clark
BMDO 98-003
Title: A Paradigm Shift in Infrared Imaging
Abstract: Progress made in infrared imaging systems in recent years has been remarkable. Despite the high cost and limited size, systems based on materials such as silicon germanium or antimonides have produced adequate quantum efficiencies, dark current, full well capacity and frame rates such that military systems as well as commercial products are now available. Unfortunately high cost and limited size are inherent parameters in these devices. This is due to the high cost and limited surface area available of single crystal epitaxial wafers. These carrier substrates are limited to the diameter of the bulk crystal boule from which they are cut. Raw materials and processing costs for these wafers are extremely expensive and cost reduction cannot be viewed as realistic in these systems. We propose an entirely new approach to imaging in the infrared range whose raw materials cost will be an order of magnitude lower than conventional systems. We expect quantum efficiencies rivaling or exceeding these traditional systems. Inherent in our approach is the ability to produce imaging systems that are not constrained by the size of a single crystal wafer but instead are scaleable to dimensions that can be measured in square feet. Using our approach detection out to 3 microns and beyond is expected.

E-LITE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
134 Benton Street
Stratford, CT 06497

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(203) 380-8517
Douglas A. George
BMDO 98-011
Title: Electroluminescent Nanocrystal/Quantum Dot Based Phosphors
Abstract: This proposal aims to develop quantum-dot based nanophosphors, using cladded and doped nanocrystals. These high-efficiency and fast response (nanoseconds) phosphors will be utilized in Phase II for the fabrication of full color, flexible, flat panel displays and illuminators, utilizing self-assembly techniques. Doped nanocrystals have demonstrated enhanced photolurninescence (e.g. quantum efficiency rlq>l8% for <35 A diarneter ZnS:Mn) and dramatic reduction in response time (few nanoseconds rather than milliseconds for bulk). The proposed research will not only enable the development of faster and brighter electroluminescent (EL) structures but will also reduce the operating voltage from 200 Volts to ~5-lOVolts. E-Lite Technologies produces and markets uniform, low cost/large area flexible plastic illuminators for applications ranging from "Indigo" type watch-faces, up to 27" wide and up to 750 ft. long E-Lume lamps (see Figure 1). In collaboration with the University of Connecticut team, we are developing improved EL products, such as low voltage (9-28Volts) transparent lamps and supramolecular self-assemblies to realize efficient device structures. The BMDO's support through this SBIR Phase-I initiative will enable us to develop quantum-dot based EL technology, which in turn will enable us to penetrate a wider illuminator market that also extends in low information content flexible pixelated displays.

STRUCTURED MATERIALS INDUSTRIES, INC.
120 Centennial Ave.
Piscataway, NJ 08843

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(732) 885-5909
Dr. Gary S. Tompa
BMDO 98-014
Title: Non-Cryogenically Cooled BST Functionally Graded Enhanced Pyroelectric IR Detectors
Abstract: Development of economic non-crvogenicallv cooled mid-wavelength infrared imaging devices with (~20 mK resolution is important for a great variety of military and commercial markets. GM, using Graded Ferroelectric Device (GFD) material technology, has made great progress in producing such a material. However, GM does not have a scaleable production capability for such devices. SMI, GMR&D, and COVA have joined together to "pool technology" and develop pyroelectric IR imaging material and device production. SMI has implemented large scale oxide MOCVD systems technology that is readily adapted to functionally graded device production needs. COVA/Virginia Tech has invented a patented flash evaporation liquid delivery system (FELD) that is critically needed for commercial scale MOCVD manufacture of many oxide films (BST, PZT, SBT, and so on). SMI will integrate both the FELD and the MOCVD system to produce discrete and functionally graded oxides. The combined technologies will enable manufacturing of a host of oxide films and, specifically for this program, functionally graded pyroelectric detectors at GM. In Phase I, SMI will work with COVA and GMR&D to show proof-of-principle of a system designed specifically to produce GFD materials. GMR&D has committed. in cash. > $115.000 dollars to this SMI-led team project. In Phase II, GMR&D will work with us to operate the system and demonstrate scaled prototype manufacturing of materials and operational devices. The result of this effort will be threefold: (i) an improved commercial computer-controlled flash evaporation liquid delivery system will be available for general purchase at the end of Phase I, (ii) a proven computer-controlled liquid delivery sourced MOCVD system and non-cryogenically cooled prototype imaging devices will both be available at the end of Phase II, and (iii) end user device applications and system sales will constitute Phase III, including the need of GM to produce millions of units per year.

ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING GROUP, INC.
11020 Solway School Rd. Suite 109
Knoxville, TN 37931

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(423) 927-3717
Mr. James G. Carter
BMDO 98-016
Title: Platinum Silicide Micromechanical Infrared Photon Detector
Abstract: The proposed work is intended to lead to the development of a revolutionary class of photon detectors capable of operating at ambient temperatures with fast response times. Specific benefits of the proposed detector include: i) Low cost versions can readily be reduced-to-practice due to inherent simplicity of the sensing element compared to existing photon or thermal detectors, ii) there is no need for cooling the device to eliminate the thermal generated carriers, iii) The concept behind this device is inherently simple, iv) fast response times (< ,us) response times, faster than thermal detectors, v) more than one order of magnitude more sensitive than thermal detectors, vi) compatibility with IC fabrication techniques.

WITECH (WIDEGAP TECHNOLOGY, LLC)
5655 Lindero Canyo Road, Suite 404
Westlake Village, CA 91362
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(805) 967-9433
Bernd Keller
BMDO 98-016
Title: Hybrid Polymer - LED White Light Sources
Abstract: Widegap Technology, LLC (WITECH) proposes to develop a hybrid polymer/LED white lamp which utilizes a blue (450 nm) nitride-based light emitting diode (LED) in combination with a luminescent conjugated polymer to produce white light. The resulting lamp will provide a robust, compact, highly efficient alternative to conventional light sources, promising a significant-- improvement in efficiency compared to tungsten and compact fluorescent lighting schemes. Efficient, solid-state nitride-based LED/conjugated polymer lamps will be ideally suited for critical remote and mobile lighting applications such as interior lighting for military vehicles and naval vessels where power conservation, robustness, and low heat (infrared) output are essential. During Phase I we will demonstrate techniques for the growth and fabrication of large-area, high output blue LEDs, and show proof of concept by combining the large-area LED with a conjugated polymer to produce white light. The achievement of the Phase I goals will facilitate the Phase II development of optimized very high brightness LED/conjugated polymer white liqht sources.

SCIENTIFIC SOLUTIONS, INC.
22 High Street
Medford, MA 02155

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 395-2344
Robert Kerr
NAVY 98-047
Title: Passive Target Velocity Measurement System
Abstract: This project characterizes and designs a sensor able to measure passive airglow reflections in a wide-field to detect anomalous velocity enhancements - the "PAR-WAVE" sensor. These velocity enhancements are caused by reflections of airglow emission features from fast moving objects. To achieve the required fast spectral integration, durability, and background rejection, the system features solid-state Fabry-Perot etalons using electronically tunable liquid crystals to achieve spectral line profile scanning. The feasibility of the proposed three-etalon system is evaluated by testing the transmission and spectral resolution capabilities of existing liquid crystal etalons, and by measurements of candidate airglow features using a conventional air-gap Fabry-Perot interferometer. The Phase I project delivers an optical and mechanical design balancing the field-of-view, spectral resolution, and sensitivity parameters into a device best suited for covert velocity detection in a cluttered atmospheric or littoral environment. The mechanical design permits selection of 2 - 4 spectral features depending on the field conditions, and permits two or three etalon operation optimizing throughput to daytime or nighttime background conditions. Laboratory and field-testing of extant, high spectral resolution liquid crystal etalons is a central feature of the Phase I initiative, permitting expeditious fabrication of a PAR-WAVE prototype in Phase II.

MISSION RESEARCH CORP.
735 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(505) 662-0070
Dr. Craig C. Jensen
NAVY 98-078
Title: Compact High-Energy Pulsed Chemical Laser
Abstract: Chemical Lasers are the most efficient lasers that can provide high-energy laser pulses at the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared wavelengths (LWIR). The utility of pulsed chemical lasers (PCL) has been limited by their size, weight and ruggedness. These limitations result from the technologies used to initiate the PCL. The initiators for PCLs have been principally electron beams and flashlamps. The electrical components for these initiators are large, heavy and fragile and therefore PCLs have not been fieldable as transportable systems. The solution to the problem of making a compact PCL is to replace flashlamps and electron-beam initiators with a rugged, highly efficient, initiator technology. The opportunity exists to use recent advances in surface-discharge initiators to make a compact, portable and rugged PCL. The surface-discharge technology developed by Mission Research Corporation (MRC) was successfully demonstrated by initiating a high-energy (1 kJ) chemical laser. This approach to PCL technology will fulfill the requirements for a compact high-energy infrared laser.

REVEO, INC.
85 Executive Boulevard
Elmsford, NY 10523

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(914) 345-9556
Le Li, Ph.D.
ARMY 98-055
Title: Narrow Band Spectral Color and NIR Matching Camouflage
Abstract: Reveo, Inc. has invented a proprietary low cost pigment technology having the unprecedented quality that it can be designed to be highly reflective at any wavelength in the range of less than 300 nm to more than 3000 nm with a reflective bandwidth in the range of less than 40 nm to more than 1000 nm. Outside the reflective band, the material is transparent. This novel material, based on cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs), is uniquely capable of defeating advanced battlefield detection technology that utilizes multispectral and hyperspectral detection schemes. These schemes involve detecting a combination of specific visible and near-infrared wavelengths that are characteristic of manmade objects but distinct from foliage, thereby defeating all attempts at broadband camouflage. Defeating these detection schemes while maintaining the visible and infrared camouflage that disrupts casual battlefield visibility is presently nearly impossible. Reveo proposes to adapt its unique, spectrally-designable pigment technology to the specific narrow-band and multi-band spectral requirements of next-generation military camouflage in the visible and near-infrared. This technology can also simultaneously defeat polarization-based detection schemes. Reveo has extensive experience in designing variable wavelength and bandwidth CLC films and has developed a proprietary process for fabricating pigments from CLC film materials. BENEFITS: The totally transparent, low cost near-infrared CLC-based reflexive pigment has vast commercial applications, including coating automotive, commercial, and residential windows to reject the near-infrared component of solar radiation that accounts for 50% of solar heating, thereby reducing the heat load on air conditioning systems while causing no attenuation in the visible spectrum. In addition, when applied to roofing and siding materials, reduced thermal cycling will increase the effective lifetime construction materials.

EIC LABORATORIES, INC.
111 Downey Street
Norwood, MA 02062
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(781) 769-9450
Fei Wang
ARMY 98-093
Title: Multicolor Electrochromic Camouflage
Abstract: Surfaces which can be actively adjusted to provide color matching with a changing background would be extremely valuable for military camouflage operations, particularly in hiding military surveillance equipment, weapons systems, and for personal soldier applications. In this regard, electrochromic materials have been demonstrated which exhibit deep modulation over a broad region of the electromagnetic spectrum. We propose here a new concept in electrochromic coatings for producing uniform, flexible, long cycle life, environmentally robust electrochromic cells for surface application. The innovation is based on using flexible polymeric materials for the components of the charge balanced electrochromic cell elements. The electrochromic layers will comprise organic, inorganic and mixed materials prepared by controlled surface coating processes. The overall objective of Phase I is to determine the feasibility of electrochromic materials and electrochemical pixel cell configurations for providing a three color variable camouflage element. The work will encompass a survey of new multicolor electrochromic polymers developed at EIC Laboratories and, through a subcontract, by the Reynolds group at the University of Florida. Phase II entails scale-up of flexible pixel elements to provide fully matrix addressed, environmentally robust appliques for spatially varying active signature control. BENEFITS: The major products of electrochromic technology include: information displays; filters for optics, photography and electronic imaging; military low observable applications; ophthalmic eyewear and sunglasses; automobile mirrors, sunroofs, and glass; atria glass; and architectural glass for all kinds of buildings from passive solar dwellings to large office complexes.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES, INC.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 689-0003
Prakash B. Joshi
ARMY 98-093
Title: Light Electro-Optical Active Reflectivity Device (LEOPARD) Technology
Abstract: Physical Sciences Inc. proposes to develop a system of variable color electrochromic (EC) devices and sensors for actively sensing the background environment of an object and adjusting its reflectivity in visible wavelengths to minimize its contrast with the environment. The LEOPARD(tm) (Light Electro-Optical Active Reflectivity Device) technology is a system comprising a large number of panels covering the surface of the object, with each panel comprising a number of electrochromic devices, and a high resolution color CCD camera(s). Our design will incorporate a distributed architecture with microcontroller intelligence at the panel level. For electrochromic devices with variable reflectance over visible wavelengths, we propose to use conductive polymers. Such devices can be fabricated as mechanically rugged, thin films on flexible kapton substrates, they can withstand a wide temperature range, and can be manufactured at low cost. In Phase I, we will construct several electrochromic devices of various color ranges and demonstrate the proof-of principle of real time control of color of an EC device as the video camera views different target colors. In Phase I Option, we will develop a preliminary design and breadboard a multi-device panel, and conduct preliminary environmental testing to select conductive polymers for Phase II developments. BENEFITS: The military market is a clear near-term opportunity for commercial applications of the LEOPARD technology, but a variety of extremely large consumer applications will ensue as the technology matures and prices are driven down through increased volume. The military market includes smart camouflage material appliques on fixed and mobile platforms: tanks, fighting vehicles, aircraft and uninhabited air vehicles, small boats, radar installations, missile batteries, and depots. A large market for consumer applications, estimated between $20B and $30B annual revenue, is the Electronically Programmable Billboard (EPB) for outdoor advertising. Other markets for the LEOPARD include programmable displays on buses, buildings, and stadiums.

MATERIALS MODIFICATION, INC.
2929 P-1 Eskridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22031 Phone:
PI:
Topic#: (703) 560-1371
Dr. T.S. Sudarshan
ARMY 98-107 Title: Aluminum Oxy-Nitride and Lanthana Strengthened Yttria Optical Windows for High Energy Laser Systems Abstract: In recent years efforts have been concentrated on maximizing the resolution of optical materials for use in high-energy laser systems by minimizing absorption of irradiated power and subsequent deformation caused by heating. With a higher thermal shock resistance than any available optical material, sapphire is the material of choice, but displays significant scattering due to optical anisotropy. Aluminum oxy-nitride and lanthana strengthened yttria based optically transmissive materials are isotropic because of their cubic symmetry and therefore are an ideal replacement for sapphire. In this Phase I effort MMI proposes to synthesize nanocrystalline gamma-AION and consolidate the same to highly dense near net shapes in less than 5 minutes. The consolidated part will further be polished to a roughness of


CYNOSURE, INC.
10 Elizabeth Dr.
Chelmsford, MA 01824

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 256-4200
Frederic Durville
AF 99-018
Title: High-Efficiency, Coherent Combination of Fiber Lasers
Abstract: Over 35 W of power can be generated by a single fiber laser in a coherent, diffraction-limited beam, with a high quantum efficiency over 85%. The output power of a single fiber laser is however limited by intrinsic non-linear effects. We propose to coherently combine several fiber lasers in order to overcome such limitation. This work will build upon work by Rediker and Leger, and on the large effort in the computer field to have efficient fan-out of a laser beam. We will use a fan-in continuous phase grating to recombine the laser beams. Combination efficiency over 95% can theoretically be achieved for 3 beams, and over 99% for 9 beams. We will use our Excimer laser ablation system to fabricate the continuous phase grating in a 16-level approximation, thus allowing a quick turnaround for prototyping. The performance of the phase grating will first be evaluated in a fan-out configuration, and then in a fan-in configuration with a single fiber laser split into three beams. Three individual low-power fiber lasers will then be coherently combined. The coherence will be quantitatively evaluated and the influence of the individual fiber laser characteristics, such as frequency stability, will be analyzed in details.

METROLASER, INC.
18010 Skypark Cir., Ste 100
Irvine, CA 92614

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(949) 553-0688
Dr. Vladimir B. Markov
AF 99-032
Title: Phase Conjugate Laser System for Remote Object Tracking
Abstract: In this Phase I proposal we outline a plan to develop a novel phase conjugate laser system capable of locking and tracking remote objects. The proposed system uses a pulsed laser with an intra-cavity four-wave mixing configuration. In this proposal we outline the operational principles of the system, showing how velocity and position of the target can be accurately measured. During Phase I, we will perform additional theoretical analysis, design a laboratory system, and demonstrate the key aspects of the tracking system. During Phase II we will scale the technology up for field demonstration.

HORN LABORATORIES
35 Lucille Drive
South Setauket, NY 11720

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(516) 737-2559
Michael Horn
AF 99-104
Title: Sunglasses with Selective Light Modulation
Abstract: The preposed project addresses the problem of glare from the sun and other optical sources. The concept is to adaptively block sources of bright light in a scene while allowing the light from dimly lit areas to pass through with relatively little attenuation. The technical approach, based on a prototype of a patented technology, is to image the scene with a low cost CMOS imaging sensor. After the scene is scanned, areas of high light intensity, compared to some threshold, are identifed and the 2-diminsional coordinates are transferred to an addressable lens. The lens, a light transmissive liquid crystal display with addressable pixels, is direced to blank out the areas in its array that correspond to the bright areas in the original scene. The effect is to eclipse the bright light sources in the scene while leaving the balance of the scene clear. The project will have the assistance of the Kent State Liquid Crystal Institute. NY State will be providing funding support for development of the CMOS imaging sensor by the Center for Advanced Technology in Sensor Systems and Technologies at SUNY Stony Brook.

BEAM ENG. FOR ADVANCED MEASUREMENTS
100 ALEXANDRIA BLVD.SUITE 5
OVIEDO, FL 32765

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(407) 977-5359
Mr. Nelson V. Tabirian
AF 99-162
Title: Photosensitive Liquid Crystals: Next Generation Materials for Dynamic Holography and Electro-Optics
Abstract: The objective of this proposal is to develop newly discovered highly nonlinear Photosensitive Liquid Crystalline (PLC) materials that a) possess photosensitivity comparable to that of photoconductive semiconductors used in LC spatial light modulators, and b) allow extremely strong modulation of the refractive index (modulation of birefringence) typical of LC. Such unique combination of photosensitivity and large optically induced index modulation property of LC will make PLC the prime candidate material for a new generation of high performance holographic devices, optical limiters, spatial light modulators (SLM) and other signal/image processing and optically or electronically tunable diffractive devices. PLC materials, by integrating the phase modulating capability and photosensitivity into a single medium, would dramatically simplify the SLM manufacturing technology by eliminating the most costly and troublesome process of incorporating semiconductor layer onto the substrate of the LC-cell. In PLC materials, the nonlinear index modulation is caused by photogenerated space charge fields throughout the bulk of the film enabling large phase modulation, higher spatial resolution and faster response times. Our main effort in Phase I would be to fully develop the material, and identify the optimum material composition through quantitative studies of the underlying nonlinear index modulation mechanisms and dynamic holographic processes.

METROLASER, INC.
18010 Skypark CircleSuite 100
Irvine, CA 92614

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(949) 553-0688
David C. Weber
AF 99-312
Title: Optical Instrument for Measuring High Velocity Rail Profile
Abstract: Hypersonic testing conducted at Holloman AFB has created an extremely high demand for precise rail alignment. Currently, a commercial laser tracker is used that can produce very accurate rail measurements, but requires several days to measure the entire track. A measurement system is proposed that incorporates innovative methods of measuring one point on the rail relative to a second, located 26 to 52 inches further down the track with an accuracy of ▒0.001 inches. A diffractive grating is utilized to produce two beams that are subsequently recombined in a manner that allows rotational errors of less than a microradian to be detected and thereby eliminated from the measurement. Cumulative errors over multiple measurements points are corrected by an imaging system that is periodically used to reference the rail-to-rail measurements back to the DMA (Defense Mapping Agency) benchmarks located along the track. Even without referencing to these benchmarks, the resulting system will produce automated measurements along the entire track of lateral and vertical deviations with an accuracy of ▒0.01 inches for any 400-foot section, or ▒0.110 inches along the entire 50,000 feet of track. Using the benchmarks, the cumulative error in this measurement will never exceed the ▒0.01 inch Air Force Specification.

LASER POWER CORP.
12777 High Bluff Drive
San Diego, CA 92130

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(619) 755-0700
Timothy L. Boyd
BMDO 99-011
Title: Laser Optical Microwave Signal Synthesis
Abstract: Fast tuning microwave synthesizer systems are required by the DoD for the demodulation of waveforms encoded by spread spectrum techniques. These systems are required for signal jamming, jamming countermeasures, secure communications and low phase noise sources for rapidly tuned radar. Our novel approach to these requirements involves optical heterodyne between two diode laser-pumped, electro-optically tuned, single frequency microlasers operating at 1.55 Ám. In such a device, the output frequency is tuned simply by applying a voltage to the laser Phase noise control is facilitated as well as phase locking. This is in contrast to slower frequency control techniques that use piezoelectric or temperature control. The anticipated performance of monolithic devices yields an optical source with extremely low phase noise, making the ideal for microwave synthesis. Microlaser technology combines this potential with compactness and low cost and represents a substantial improvement over current state-of-the-art non-planar lasers. The Phase program includes RF signal generation by heterodyne between tow narrow linewidth lasers.

CYCLOVISION TECHNOLOGIES
295 Madison Avenue, 32d Floor
New York, NY 10017

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(212) 499-0909
Raghu Menon
DARPA 99-014
Title: Smart High Definition Omnidirectional Imaging System
Abstract: Force protection can greatly benefit image understanding technologies. In most battlefield scenarios, it is valuable to be able to assess the area of operation prior to deployment of troops. Video sensors deployed in the field provide valuable visual information that can be used to develop strategies prior to sending in troops. A major limitation of existing video sensors is field of view. It is highly desirable to have sensors that provide "complete" coverage after deployment. From this perspective, omni-directional video cameras present major advantages over conventional ones. The 360 degree coverage provided by such a sensor enables a remote user to "look around" and assess the battlefield. Today, the main drawback of omni-directional cameras is their limited resolution. Since a complete hemispherical fields is projected onto a single CCD detector, far away objects are only imaged onto a small numbers of pixels. For instance, when a standard NTSC video camera is used in conjunction with omni-directional imaging optics, a human 50 meters away will appear within just 5-10 pixels in a typical omni-directional image. This proposal is geared towards the development of high-resolution omni-directional cameras. The implementation of such sensors requires not only the use of a high-definition video camera but also the design and fabrication of accompanying optics to generate the desired field of view. Our optical design will be a catadioptric one, where mirrors are used in conjunction with lenses to project the large field of view onto a single planar image detector. This design procedure will require the use of sophisticated optical design techniques. In addition to the design of a high-definition omni-directional sensor, we propose the implementation of a series of low-level image processing and image understanding algorithms. These algorithms will include real-time generation of perspective video, real-time tracking and monitoring of multiple moving objects, fast ego-motion estimation for applications where the omni-directional sensor is mounted on a moving platform, as well as higher-level algorithms for activity and object recognition.

PHYSICAL OPTICS CORP.
Applied Technology Division, 20600 Gramercy Place,
Torrance, CA 90501

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 530-1416
Ilya Agurok
DARPA 99-027
Title: Combined Hartmann-Autofocus Wavefront Sensor
Abstract: DARPA is soliciting new, real-time methods for wave front WF testing, that will utilize extended scene imagery. In response, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes Hartmann-autofocus sensors (HAS). In the proposed HAS, the exit pupil of an imaging missile seeker will be divided into several patches. The size of these patches will be sufficient to support a distinguishable target image. In contrast to current Shack-Hartmann sensors, which need at least 50 patches, the HAS will require no more than 6 patches for WF retrieval. As in autofocusing cameras, local defocusing will be determined by the relative axial positions of the sharpest images over the patches. The local slope will be found as in the Hartmann test. The combination of local wave front curvature with the local slope in the patches will provide enough information for high quality wave front restoration. Finally, this small number of WF patches will provide an improved energy budget and a rapid response in the hundreds of hertz. During Phase I, POC will undertake a thorough theoretical investigation of the proposed HAS and compare this approach with existing methods. In Phase II, a brass-board laboratory prototype of the HAS adaptive optics system will be produced and tested.

METROLASER, INC.
18010 Skypark CircleSuite 100
Irvine, CA 92614

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(949) /55-3068
James D. Trolinger, Ph.D.
NAVY 99-052
Title: A Hybrid Active/Passive Optical Avoidance System for Helicopters
Abstract: Low-flying aircraft such as helicopters are exposed to the danger of flying into suspended electrical and telephone cables. We propose a hybrid passive/active optical system that can detect and range thin cables, thereby enabling the prevention of potentially catastrophic accidents. Our system makes use of a (mid-wave infrared) sensitive CCD camera and sophisticated image processing software to passively detect suspended cables. Under some conditions, it is expected that an active source will be required for cable illumination, hence, the dual nature of our system. Cables are actively located by scanning the field-of-view with a laser beam, imaging the scattered light with the same CCD camera used in the passive system, and processing the data. In addition to being able to alert the pilot to the presence of a cable, the active system permits ranging so that the distance to the cable becomes known. Our system will be able to examine at least a 10-degree field-of-view and be able to detect a 1-cm diameter wire at a range of greater than 600 m in a time less than 1 second.

PHYSICAL OPTICS CORP.
20600 Gramercy Place, Suite 103
Torrance, CA 90501

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 320-3088
Dr. Tin M. Aye
ARMY 97-066
Title: High-Speed Solid State Scanner Based on Liquid Crystal Micro-Prism Array
Abstract: A lightweight, compact, low-power, two-dimensional beam scanning device would greatly enhance compact, low cost imaging laser radars (ladars). Physical Optics Corporation proposes to develop a unique 2-D laser beam scanning device based on an electro-optically tunable Active Micro-Prism Array Scanner (AMPAS) concept. The device will build on three major POC innovations: 1) non-mechanical, electrooptic, tunable micro-prism arrays for high efficiency, wide spectral band, and large angle beam scanning; 2) a new variety of us-response ferroelectric liquid crystal (FLC) for high-speed, large-angle scanning driven by only 0 10 V; and 3) scalability to large arrays using well-developed integrated circuit processing and liquid crystal display technologies. Since the scanner is an analog device, it can have<30 scanning agile and resolution, pointing 40║ x 40║ field-of-regard. This monolithic scanning device will be small, light, and inexpensive and draw little power. Phase I will yield a preliminary system design, performance analyses, and a laboratory demonstration of the proposed AMPAS concept. The success of Phase I will lead us to fabricate preproduction prototypes of AMPAS in Phase II for eventual commercialization in Phase III. BENEFITS: This development will find many commercial applications for high-speed three-dimensional imaging. Applications include range finders, small aperture ladar systems, laser scanned displays, laser printers, engravers, copy machines, machine vision, highway safety, and environmental monitoring.

INTERSCIENCE, INC.
105 Jordan Rd.
Troy, NY 12180

Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(518) 283-7500
Dr. James Castracane
NAVY 97-138
Title: The DMD-NVG: Use of Digital Micromirror Technology for Interference Reduction in Night Vision Systems
Abstract: The use of image intensifiers in night vision systems provides significant advantages for military missions. Extremely sensitive detectors are currently in use which enable the user to operate effectively in starlight conditions. These advantages, however, can be mitigated by bright sources within the field of view. Effects can range from simple loss of contrast to blinding and resulting loss of hardware or personnel. Because of the widespread use of night vision systems, this significant problem demands a solution. InterScience proposes to leverage our current work in high resolution image intensification and micro-opto-electro-mechanical systems (MOEMS) and apply them to the development of a new optical system for interference mitigation in night vision goggles (NVG) to be used for Navy applications. Exploiting recent developments in digital micromirror display (DMD) technology and using a novel optical arrangement, we intend to demonstrate a compact, DMD-based retrofit to NVG systems. With this goal in mind, Phase I and Phase II represent stepping stones to demonstrate the concept and develop a viable version of the DMD-NVG for the Navy. Phase III commercial spin-offs include surveillance, research applications and recreational use in as well as direct technology transfer to other branches of the Armed Services.