Conformal-Coherent Aperture Planar Lens Array Optical Sensor
ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for a conformal coherent optical sensor, Physical Optics Corporation (POC), proposes to develop a new Conformal-Coherent Aperture Planar Lens Array (CAPLAR) optical sensor. The proposed CAPLAR sensor system is based on a unique combination of a conformal planar lens array, a coherently combined diode laser array, planar waveguide optics, a high-resolution CMOS sensor array, and real-time image processor electronics. The innovation in using the coherent arrays of thin planar lenses and laser diodes together with planar waveguide optics allows the CAPLAR sensor to be utilized as a long-range coherent imaging ladar with a large effective conformal aperture of minimum size, weight, and power. By electronically correcting and combining the optical fields of the coherent planar lens array, high-resolution imagery can be achieved. In Phase I, POC will develop a preliminary design of the CAPLAR sensor and evaluate its effectiveness by modeling and demonstrating feasibility of fabrication using a laboratory prototype. In Phase II, POC will develop and test a prototype CAPLAR sensor system and demonstrate its capability to measure complex fields and provide high-resolution long-range ladar images. A path toward a conformal sensor, along with performance improvement, will be identified. BENEFIT: The CAPLAR sensor system, with its conformal structure, will drive the ladar imaging system toward a thin sensor system with drastically reduced volume, making it more easily applied to a wide range of aircraft platforms. As a result, high-resolution long-range ladar imaging could be easily obtained with a smaller lower-cost system. Commercial applications include homeland security, law enforcement, astronomy, space exploration, aerial surveillance, agriculture, and geospatial imaging.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Chief Financial Officer
Physical Optics Corporation
Electro-Optics Systems Division 1845 W. 205th Street Torrance, CA -
Number of Employees: