Low Cost, Strapdown Seeker Technologies
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
Advanced seeker systems such as for THAAD require wide FOVs and image stabilization under the shock and vibration of aerodynamic buffetting and rocket propulsion. Traditional solutions involve complex optical trains vis-a-vis FPAs to overcome field (Petzval) curvature and complex, multi-axis gimbals, inertially stabilized using expensive, precision rate gyros. Applicant proposes a highly innovative solution to these challenges combined with cost reductions for next generation FPA seekers or as an improvement to current seekers, based on a breakthrough technology for low cost manufacturing of high performance IR detectors and transistors on thin, flexible conformal substrates. The Company has developed a new substrate material system targetting TFT backplanes for displays which it proposes for band-gap engineered materials used in advanced FPAs. The material is branded as "Versulite" and has a lamellar phyllosilicate structure, which allows thin layers to be cleaved off post processing and transferred onto flexible substrates like plastics or foils. The technology can allow, in principle, curved, rather than planar focal arrays, and integration of associated electronics such as DACs and FPGAs directly onto the FPA itself, substantially reducing cost & mass. While bandgap engineered structures such as Quantum Wells (QWIPs) and Superlattices based on InAsSb for LWIR or AlGaAs/GaAs are increasingly being used, applicant proposes to simultaneously demonstrate feasibility of GaSb devices on Versulite, including potential intermixing of GaSb with GaSb Superlattices on a common substrate for a multi-spectral FPA. A Curved Focal Array would dramatically increase FOV for a strapdown seeker, obviate Petzval correction, and can simplify greatly the optics, opening up a number of new design possibilities.
Small Business Information at Submission:
488 Ridgefield Rd Shelburne, VT 05482
Number of Employees: