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Fast Optical Limiters (OL) with Enhanced Dynamic Range

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-17-P-1129
Agency Tracking Number: F17A-029-0052
Amount: $149,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF17A-T029
Solicitation Number: 2017.0
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-08-05
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-05-09
Small Business Information
410 Jan Davis Drive
Huntsville, AL 35806
United States
DUNS: 625694500
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Neset Akozbek, phD
 Senior Research Physicist
 (256) 922-0802
Business Contact
 Terry Carter
Phone: (256) 922-0802
Research Institution
 University of Dayton, School of Engineering, Depar
 Professor Joe Haus
 (937) 229-2797
 Nonprofit College or University

The proliferation of commercial, visible and infrared wavelength laser systems is increasingly becoming an existential threat to our warfighters, which drives the need for further EO/IR sensor and eye protection development. Current fielded sensor protection is limited to fixed wavelength filters. Broadband filters designed to circumvent multi-wavelength laser threats are plagued by low transmittance, which degrades the sensitivity and performance of the sensor. Future warfighter threats include frequency agile lasers and thus have the potential of defeating fixed filters. Self-activating (passive) devices where protection is activated by the incoming radiation (optical limiting) are the best approach to counter frequency agile and short pulse laser threats. Current state-of-the-art of optical limiters are hampered by low off-state transmittance and laser damage threshold, high activation laser fluence, and narrow field of view and bandwidth. We will design, fabricate and test an optical limiter concept based on metal-dielectric stacks that incorporate thin film phase change materials (VO2). The novel optical limiter devices have large angular acceptance, large band width, sub-nanosecond response times, high laser damage threshold, and short reset times. Typically less than 10 nano-layers are grown by physical deposition processes. The compact devices can be integrated into existing EO/IR sensors against laser threats.

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

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