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Large-Format Membrane Mirror Light Modulator for Infrared Scene Projection

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / 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 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Large-Format Membrane Mirror Light Modulator for Infrared Scene Projection
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9302-13-C-0001
Award Amount: $748,988.00


ABSTRACT: This Phase II SBIR effort will focus on the design and fabrication of a wide-format mid-wave infrared scene projector (with 1000x500 pixels, each 40 um on a side) based on VLSI-Membrane-Mirror-Light-Modulator (VLSI-MMLM) technology. They key technologies that will be developed in this program to make this project successful include: (1) reticule stitching of the required large-area high-voltage VLSI driver chip, (2) The development of polymer MEMS structures to support the membrane mirror atop the large rectangular chip, and (3) the development and implementation of an off-axis Three-Mirror, Anastigmatic (TMA) optical readout system to eliminate stray light and thereby optimize the contrast ratio of the system. The electronic interface to the VLSI-MMLM will also be updated to be fully compatible with the large-format VLSI chip and to support its operation. The modulator will employ a mostly-metal membrane for low-temperature operation down to -35C. In addition to low temperature operation, the performance goals of wide-format projector include: 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 120 Hz framing rate and flickerless operation with at least an 8┬░field of view. BENEFIT: This research is expected to lead to a family of compact, low-cost, high-performance large-area infrared projectors that offer operation over a large temperature range, large numbers of pixels, high temperature resolution, and multispectral operation ranging from the visible to the long-wave infrared. Commercial applications of the technology include: (1) multi-spectral and infrared scene projectors for government and commercial testing applications (2) visible, mid-wave and long-wave infrared shutters, (3) spatial light modulators for optical signal processing and adaptive optics, (4) sensors and systems for industrial inspection, robotic vision and medical imaging, and (5) large-screen projection displays such as digital cinema.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Whitson
Senior Research Engineer
(781) 890-3600

Business Contact:

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

Optron Systems, Inc.
235 Bear Hill Rd Ste 200 Waltham, MA 02451-1060

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