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Low-Temperature Multi-Spectral Membrane-Mirror Projector

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Optron Systems, Inc.
235 Bear Hill Rd Ste 200 Waltham, MA 02451-1060
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Low-Temperature Multi-Spectral Membrane-Mirror Projector
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA9302-09-C-0017
Award Amount: $599,950.00


The Phase II goal of the Low-temperature multi-spectral MEMS projector project is to demonstrate a working prototype of a 4-channel (MWIR and visible RGB) flickerless scene projector operating between -35C and 50C. This multi-spectral projector is based the VLSI-membrane-mirror light modulator (VLSI-MMLM) technology which uses a membrane mirror to spatially modulate an off-chip light source. The Phase II program will continue the membrane materials research with the aim of advancing the mostly-metal nitrocellulose membrane which showed promise in the Phase I. The 4-channel architecture that was designed in the Phase I will be implemented using a TMA-optics design to better control stray light. This Phase II will also focus on integrating the VLSI-MMLM into a Santa Barbara Infrared designed dewar. The electronic interface to the VLSI-MMLM will also be updated to support 4-channel operation and to be fully compatible with the second-generation chip. The overall technical goals of this program will be to develop a low-temperature multi-spectral scene projector with a a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 500 x 500 pixels (1280 x 960 in a future commercial product), 120 Hz framing rate and flickerless operation with at least a 6o field of view. BENEFIT: This research is expected to lead to a family of compact, low-cost, high-performance multi-spectral and infrared projectors that offer large temperature range, large numbers of pixels, high temperature resolution, and highly correlated dual-band spectral output. Commercial applications of the technology include: (1) multi-spectral and infrared scene projectors for government and commercial testing applications (2) visible, mid-wave and long-wave infrared shutters, (3) spatial light modulators for optical signal processing and adaptive optics, (4) sensors and systems for industrial inspection, robotic vision and medical imaging, and (5) large-screen projection displays such as digital cinema.

Principal Investigator:

Travis Simpkins
Sr. Research Scientist

Business Contact:

Cardinal Warde
Director of Research
Small Business Information at Submission:

3 Preston Court Bedford, MA 01730

EIN/Tax ID: 042758877
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No