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Large Format Membrane Mirror Light Modulator for Infrared Scene Projection

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Optron Systems, Inc.
235 Bear Hill Rd Ste 200 Waltham, MA 02451-1060
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Large Format Membrane Mirror Light Modulator for Infrared Scene Projection
Agency: DOD
Contract: HQ0147-12-C-7867
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Phase I SBIR program will initiate the development of a large-format mid-wave infrared (MWIR) scene projector based on the Company's existing membrane-mirror spatial light modulator technology. The scene projector is based on a VLSI membrane-mirror light modulator (VLSI-MMLM) that uses a deformable membrane mirror to modulate an off-chip light source. Prototype infrared scene projectors of this type with 200x200 pixels have been demonstrated in the 3-5µm MWIR band, and their operation at temperatures down to -35 C has been demonstrated. The goals of this project are to scale up the spatial resolution to 1024 x 1024 pixels, increase the contrast ratio to 500:1 and the framing rate to 200 Hz. In particular, the Phase I program will begin the VLSI driver chip redesign and simulation work to achieve an array of 1024 x 1024 chip electrodes with at least 40 V of output. The design scale up from the the current 20mm x 20mm chip to a 44mm x 44mm chip involves reticle stitching technology. In addition, the Phase I program will undertake the initial MEMS process and redesign optimization steps required to support the 40µm pixels for high contrast. The optional program will also include preliminary work on the packaging, mounting, and interface electronics and hardware to support the new die size format. Future Phase II work would include the prototype modulator fabrication in the 1024 x 1024 pixel large-format die and ancillaries, integration into a coolable package, and demonstration of the resulting infrared scene projector.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Whitson
Sr. Research Engineer
(781) 890-3600

Business Contact:

Cardinal Warde
(781) 890-3600
Small Business Information at Submission:

Optron Systems, Inc.
235 Bear Hill Rd Waltham, MA -

EIN/Tax ID: 042758877
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No