A New Manufacturing Technology for Next Generation, Ultra Resolution Fiber Optic Elements
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
This proposal is to demonstrate the feasibility of a revolutionary new manufacturing technique for ultra high resolution fiber optic elements. They exceed the spatial resolution of all existing fiber optic elements. These elements include fiber optic tapers, fiber optic face plates, fiber optic 180_ inverters, and fiber optic boroscopes used for inspection of jet engines and the like, and endoscopes. These elements can be used as components in new ultra high resolution optical sensors for ballistic missile defense. Existing elements use step index glass fibers with optimized refractive indices depending on the application. The resolution is limited to 5 .micro.m and, they are expensive due to the high labor cost in the multi step manufacturing process. The fused fiber optic elements are also heavy due to the high density of glass. The present proposal is to develop a novel, low cost manufactur-ing technique employing a new type of optical polymeric fiber in-stead of glass, which will permit a resolution of 2.5 .micro.m. There will also be a significant improvement in cost, reduced weight, and image brightness. The demand for higher resolution is being fueled by continuing reduction in feature sizes on charge coupled devices (CCDs) and other optoelectronic systems used in imaging applications. This proposal presents a radical new approach to the manufacture of next generation, ultra high resolution fiber optical elements. It is based on a new technology developed at Nanoptics, Inc. under a DARPA contract. Fiber optic elements in the form of plates, tapers, boroscopes/endo-scopes, and GRIN lerses are used extensively in the military, industrial and medical arenas. The total US annual market for these optical devices is about $2 billion. The proposed new manufacturing technique will impact the market because of the lower costs, lower weight and improved resolution.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Dr. Jacob Tymianski
3014 N.E. 21st Way Gainesville, FL 32609
Number of Employees: