Optical Aperture Gating for Single-pixel and Imaging LIDAR Systems
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214 North Main Street, North Wales, PA, 19454
AbstractFast gating or shuttering of light through a large aperture is possible with a HOE (Holographic Optical Element) written into new novel materials such as, but not limited to, EO (Electro-Optic) polymers. These materials can be non-birefringent thin or thick films applied to an optical substrate of a square centimeter or larger. The refractive index of EO polymers can be switched fast (10 to 100 nanoseconds) by applying an electric field across the film, perpendicular to the plane of the optical substrate. Changes in refractive index can be up to a few percent which allow a holographic grating to accept or reject the light. These new novel materials are available from several research sources such as the University of Arizona and the University of Washington. These materials are currently being studied and tested as electro-optic polymer modulators with very small apertures (~1 mm) and operating at longer wavelengths than visable (e.g.1550nm). Gating non-collimated light can be accomplished with an additional HOE operating as a beam-shaping collimator. We plan to utilize existing holographic technology to build an optimised collimator for this project. Collected input light would first pass through the beam-shaping collimating HOE and then be gated with the EO-polymer-HOE. This would simultaneously meet FOV requirements and gating requirements.
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