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Optical Aperture Gating for Single-pixel and Imaging LIDAR Systems

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Arete Associates
1550 Crystal Drive Suite 703 Arlington, VA 22202-4139
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Optical Aperture Gating for Single-pixel and Imaging LIDAR Systems
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N68335-11-C-0231
Award Amount: $749,943.00


One of the key limitations in optical band underwater imaging and communications systems is the excessive attenuation and scattering light experiences in traversing the intervening media. Strong attenuation fuels the demand for high transmitter energy and high sensitivity (photon counting) detectors. Strong backscatter can temporarily blind or damage highly sensitive detectors, undermining the systems ability to sense (or communicate) over both short and long distances. In principle, the"backscatter problem"can be mitigated by employing high dynamic range detectors (i.e. a detector that is responsive to both high and low levels of photons). This requirement is often at odds with the sensitivity requirement of detecting a few photons/nanosecond. One potential solution is use a fast optical switch (or attenuator) in front of the detector to gate out the undesired near-field backscatter. Current technology cannot address all of the needs, such as polarization insensitivity, large aperture, and wide acceptance angle. Arete Associates has devised an elegant solution to this problem that promises to meet the demanding requirements in a compact, low-power, open-architecture module. This program will result in the development of a stand-alone, polarization insensitive, optical attenuator module capable of achieving fast switching (<100 ns) and high contrast with large spatial (>1 cm2) and angular (>+/- 10 degrees) apertures and with low insertion loss.

Principal Investigator:

Ryan Epstein
Staff Scientist
(303) 651-6756

Business Contact:

Gregory Fetzer
Director Optical Systems
(303) 651-6756
Small Business Information at Submission:

Arete Associates
P.O. Box 2607 Winnetka, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 952954108
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No