Infrared Projection Systems for Wide Field of View Sensor Testing, Phase II
This document presents Optical Sciences Corporation''s Phase II SBIR proposal for the design and fabrication of a prototype infrared (IR) projection system for wide field of view (WFOV) sensor testing in a cryogenic-vacuum environment. The WFOV IR projector system will be capable of projecting complex scenes overlaid with precision unresolved dual-band targets, which cover a wide FOV and have a wide temperature range, high spatial resolution, high temperature resolution, and highly correlated multi-band spectral output. The innovative technologies developed in the Phase II for WFOV sensor testing including infrared fiber coupled semiconductor lasers for dual-band unresolved targets and a cryogenically operated digital micromirror device (DMD) for resolved extended background scenes optically combined using an infrared rear-projection screen. The engineered rear-projection is the key technology for efficient image combining for complex scene projection for into a WFOV broadband collimation optical system providing a highly correlated multi-band spectral output over a large FOV for space sensor testing. BENEFIT: The advanced WFOV cryogenic-vacuum compatible projector system developed under this effort will be used in government and contractor electro-optic test facilities for the simulation and testing of advanced space-based IR sensors. Other commercial spin-off applications include testing of WFOV imaging IR sensors used in the homeland security, medical imaging, police surveillance, fire fighting, and collision avoidance systems. At the subsystem level the infrared rear-projection screen, fiber coupled quantum cascade lasers, and cryogenic operating DMD will alone provide new commercial avenues. The rear-projection screen operating in the infrared offers a new method for scene combining making it conceivable to tile large format scene to produce ultra-high resolution infrared scene projections. Larger formats greater than 2000 x 2000 or even 4000 x 4000 could be developed and successfully marketed. MWIR and LWIR emitting semiconductor lasers are in great demand for gas analysis and spectroscopy. Fiber coupled lasers operating in this"fingerprint"region of molecular absorption could be valuable tools for exploitation in new portable devices. Finally, the biggest pay-off from the Phase II effort for OSC would be the successful development of a cryogenically operated DMD. Developing this capability would allow OSC to add this option to its line of IR scene projectors for IR testing in the laboratory or in the field marketing to domestic and foreign defense and aerospace industries. In addition, a cryogenically operating DMD would lend itself to many infrared spectroscopy applications performing as a digitally tunable broadband grating.
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Optical Sciences Corporation
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