You are here

Thermally Stable, High Damping SiC Weave Optical Bench and Structure for TRP DUAL System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 33072
Amount: $99,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1996
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
150 Bear Hill Road
Waltham, MA 02154
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Mark Schwalm
 (617) 890-0204
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

The extension of the proposed DUAL LIDAR system from laboratory to aircraft environment will be critically dependent on the performance of the optical bench/structure. This optical bench must support all components (telescope, scanner, lasers, resonator, beam steering optics, and detector) while maintaining critical alignment of the single-mode, heterodyned laser system. Specifically, the structure must maintain sub-0.1 milliradian level tolerances in the presence of thermal loads, gradients and drift, aircraft vibration, and varying gravitational loads; all while meeting strict weight requirements. SSG's success developing light weight, inherently athermal optical systems from bulk SiC forms the basis for the proposed innovation: creation of the DUAL LIDAR optical bench from a new fibrous weave SiC form (a continuous fiber reinforced composite). This weave SiC retains the advantages of the bulk material: low CTE, high thermal conductivity, and excellent thermal stability (>12X aluminum); while adding high damping (>10X aluminum), ultra-light weight (density = 60% of aluminum, modulus >2X aluminum), and excellent fracture toughness (can be dropped on a cement floor). Furthermore, the weave offers near-net shape fabrication for significant cost saving potential. In Phase I, SSG proposes to analyze, design, fabricate, and test a prototype optical bench/structure for the DUAL LIDAR system. This innovation will enable the airborne DUAL LIDAR system to satisfy rigid, ultra-light weight, thermally stable and durable airborne and UAV applications. Anticipated Military Benefits: LIDAR military applications: bomb drop, precision air drop, gunship ballistic winds correction, shipboard sensing and avoidance of turbulence. Commercial LIDAR applications: optimizing fuel savings, clear air turbulence detection. Non-LIDAR military applications: laser communication systems, active/passive target detection and tracking systems (e.g. EAGLE/AWACS), battlefield biological/chemical detection systems. Non-LIDAR commercial: Air/UAV and space-borne remote sensing systems, light weight, highly damped structural assemblies for microlithograpghy, CNC machining.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government