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Liquid Crystal-Based Underwater Imager

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Office of the Secretary of Defense
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 36449
Amount: $99,659.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1997
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 8175
Charlottesville, VA 22906
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Martin C. Baruch, Ph.d.
 (804) 296-7000
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

The contractor proposes a new approach to underwater imaging that directly converts a two-dimmensional acoustic pressure wave into an electronic requirements fo convential piezo-element arrays. The imager relies on the piezo-birefringent properties of a nematic liquid crystal panel that serves as both sensor and display. The capability of nematic liquid crystals has been established and published by the authors and others. Pressure waves established by acoustic transducers are reflected by the target, focused by an acoustic lens system, and converted into a visible image for target identification. A compact device with a volume of 1-2 ft3 for diver-held applications at ranges of about 5 meters, as well as larger versions for increased distances, are feasible. In Phase I liquid crystal panels will be constructed and tested for maximum resolution using the contractor's diffraction-limited acoustic lens system. The engineering specifications applicable to the design of field prototype, to be built under Phase II, will be determined.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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