Solid State Infrared Flare
Agency / Branch:
DOD / ARMY
The Army and other services use the M278 Infrared flare rocket that uses an illuminant candle to provide illumination compatible with night vision gear. Recent advances in solid state lighting offer the potential to replace the burning candle with a solid state illumination source. Princeton Optronics proposes an approach using a newly developed technology of VCSELs which offer many advantages over alternative approaches for illumination application. In phase I, we would conduct a feasibility study on our approach to providing a solid state replacement for the candle in the flare rocket. The study would include a detailed analysis of the approach including electronics, optics, and power. Operating alternatives, such as high speed pulsing, would also be investigated. Limited destructive bench tests of the VCSEL arrays to drive them into the extreme high output regimes while measuring photometric and lifetime data would be performed. By the end of Phase I we would have a proposed design for a solid state replacement for the infrared candle meeting the Army specifications. In phase I, we would also build an early prototype version of the package which can be tested by Army before the end of the phase I. The first build will use one of our VCSEL arrays of >200W of power at 976nm. In phase II, we would develop a benchtop demonstration prototype with a form factor of the solid state infrared flare. Measurement of the optical, electrical, and lifetime characteristics of the prototype would be conducted. Experiments to show that the prototype design would survive the shock environments of the M278 rocket would also be performed. In Phase III, we would finalize the design for production of the solid state flare replacement. Live fire demonstrations would be conducted in phase III.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1 Electronics Dr. Mercerville, NJ 08619
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