A Laser-Based High Optical Density Absorption Spectrometer

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 36067
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1997
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
111 Downey Street, Norwood, MA, 02062
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mr. Kevin M. Spencer
 (617) 769-9450
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
As lasers become increasingly employed in military applications, demands for improved protective optical filters will escalate. To ensure adequate eye and sensor protection, it will be increasingly important to accurately quantify high optical densities over the area of laser attenuating goggles, visors and other components. A current lamp-based spectrophotometer will not be sufficient for precise measurement of optical densities up to 6 absorbance units (A.U.) with the necessary wavelength resolution. Instead, a laser-based system coupled to a custom spectrograph capable of high stray light rejection will be required. Another issue for laser attenuating materials is the need to consider polarization sensitivity, due to the intense polarization of a laser beam. We propose to develop a laser-based system capable of accurate and precise measurements to >6 A.U. over a range of 190-1680 nm with <1 nm resolution. The system will comply an optical parametric oscillator as the laser source, a custom-built high resolution, high stray light rejection spectrograph, and a rapid response detection system. The system will have a large motorized sampling chamber so large items, such as helmet visors, can be evaluated, and the optical density can be mapped as a function of sample position and incident angle. Polarization rotators will manipulate the laser polarization state and will facilitate detailed polarization dependent attenuation measurements. The Phase I program entails fabrication of an absorption spectrograph capable of precise measurement of optical density to >6 A.U. over the 200 nm-1.2 um range. This spectrograph will have a resolution of <1 nm and will be capable of providing polarization specific information. The Phase II program will implement the laser source capable of the desired range and will deliver a laser-based spectrophotometer system to Brooks Air Force Base.

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

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