Segmented Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal TFB Glasses

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-05-M-6580
Agency Tracking Number: F051-064-1030
Amount: $92,278.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: AF05-064
Solicitation Number: 2005.1
Small Business Information
243 Brantwood Road, Amherst, NY, 14226
DUNS: 130917581
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Mullin
 (716) 837-5499
Business Contact
 Christopher Mullin
Title: CEO
Phone: (716) 837-5499
Research Institution
Surface mode nematic liquid crystal light shutters have previously been shown to supply sufficient switching speeds and optical densities to serve as thermal flash blindness (TFB) protection shields. Ferroelectric liquid crystal light shutters exhibit similar switching speeds and contrast ratios to surface mode nematics. In addition, ferroelectric liquid crystals shutters are bistable, so they can be employed in a multiplexed, segmented array of pixels. Segmented ferroelectric shields would improve the operational effectiveness of the aircrew by only darkening the portion of the shields between the operator's pupils and the blinding light source while leaving the remainder of the field of view unaffected. This proposal demonstrates the feasibility of segmented ferroelectric liquid crystal flash blindness shields by assembling a specialized segmented sensor, a microcontroller, driver circuitry, and ferroelectric shields into a proof-of-principle prototype. The prototype is tested for response time, switching speed, viewing angle, and spectral characteristics. Segmented shields would have an impact far beyond TFB protection. Configured as sunglasses, they would revolutionize glare protection throughout the military by improving visual acuity and curtailing eyestrain due to glare.

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

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