TUNABLE BIREFRINGENT FILTERS USING LIQUID CRYSTAL ELEMENTS

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$229,438.00
Award Year:
1990
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
10657
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Cambridge Research & Instrumen
21 Erie St, Cambridge, MA, 02139
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Peter J Miller
Principal Investigator
(617) 491-2627
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
RECENT ADVANCES IN LIQUID CRYSTAL TECHNOLOGY MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO CONSTRUCT TUNABLE BIREFRINGENT FILTERS OPERATINGOVER THE RANGE 3,500-20,000 ANGSTROMS, WITH PASSBANDS AS NARROW AS 50 ANGSTROMS. THE CENTER WAVE-LENGTH OF THIS FILTER CAN BE SELECTED ELECTRONICALLY, IN A FEW MILLISECONDS, WITH NO MOVING PARTS. THESE FILTERS SHOULD BERELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE ($1K-2K). THE RESEARCHERSPROPOSE DEVELOPING THESE MODERATE-PASSBAND FILTERS FOR ASTRONOMICAL USES, INCLUDING BROAD-BAND PHOTOMETRY. RAPIDLYTUNABLE FABRY-PEROT ETALONS CAN ALSO BE BUILT USING THE SAMETECHNOLOGY. THE PASSBAND IS TUNED BY ADJUSTING THE VOLTAGE ACROSS A LIQUID CRYSTAL SLAB. THE CENTER WAVELENGTHIS MONITORED BY A REFERENCE LASER DIODE, USED TO STABILIZE THE ETALON UNDER SERVO CONTROL. PLACING THESE ELEMENTS IN SERIES PRODUCES A "HYBRID" TUNABLE FILTER WITH HIGH TRANSMISSION AND A FULL-WIDTH AT HALF-MAXIMUM OF APPROXIMATELY 1 ANGSTROM. THIS HYBRID FILTER HAS APPLICATIONS IN SOLAR AND STELLAR ASTRONOMY, AND IS PARTICULARLY ATTRACTIVE COMPARED TO PRESENTLY-AVAILABLE TUNABLE FILTERS, WHICH ARE VERY EXPENSIVE ($100K). THEY PROPOSE TO MODEL THE PROPERTIES OF BIREFRINGENT FILTERS AND FABRY-PEROT ETALONS, BASED ON MEASUREMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL LIQUID CRYSTAL ELEMENTS, AND TO IDENTIFY SUITABLE OBSERVING PROGRAMS FOR TESTING THE FILTER.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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