Dynamic Mid Wave Infrared (MWIR) Attenuator
Countermeasures to MWIR imaging devices include non-destructive narrow band infrared lasers that temporarily saturate the sensor and reduce a mission"s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) effectiveness. Technologies that detect and selectively filter an offending laser wavelength while maintaining thermal imaging capabilities are sought by the Air Force. Infoscitex proposes to develop a dynamically tunable MWIR optical system that can filter a specific threat wavelength detected by a sensor. The remaining portion of the spectrum will remain viewable by the imaging device, thereby maintaining mission capabilities. The advantages to IST"s technical approach for actuation of the filter include fast response time, low jitter, and compatibility with MWIR imaging subcomponents like lenses. Additionally, the approach incorporates novel optical quality polymers that have utility in other wavelength regions. In this Phase I project, IST will develop the discrete system components and demonstrate the principle of operation. During Phase II R & D, the components will be integrated into a high functional prototype during a spiral design process. BENEFIT: The proposed technology will result in tunable filter technology that is compact, lightweight, robust, does not adversely affect ground state transmission, and has a rapid response time. The underlying principle of operation can be readily transferred to other portions of the EM spectrum. In addition to the significant market size for military surveillance imaging systems, the dynamic filter will also have an impact in the industrial chemical sensing sector.
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