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Fruit Inspection Using a Liquid Crystal Tunable Optical Filter Multispectral…

Award Information

Department of Agriculture
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc.
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107 Lafayette, CO 80026-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: Fruit Inspection Using a Liquid Crystal Tunable Optical Filter Multispectral Camera
Agency: USDA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $205,000.00


Currently, fruit is sorted for bruises and blemishes by hand. This is an inefficient and labor intensive method for detemining fruit quality, in need of automation. It has recently been determined that visible and near infrared multispectral imaging is useful for extracting several fruit quality characteristics. In order to acquire information in several bands as fruit is processed, a high throughput high-speed tunable optical filter is required. While acousto-optic filters are adequately fast tuning, image quality is poor, clear apertures are small, and image registration is not maintained. BNS proposes a ferroelectric liquid crystal tunable optical filter which combines speed comparable to acousto-optic filters, with large clear apertures, large acceptance angles, and excellent image quality. This device, used with a single CCD camera, provides a wealth of information, not attainable using visual inspection, in a non-intrusive manner.

Principal Investigator:


Business Contact:

Dr. Gary D. Sharp
Small Business Information at Submission:

Boulder Nonlinear Systems,
1898 South Flatiron Court Boulder, CO 80301

EIN/Tax ID: 841118066
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No