A Diffractive Optical Element Seeker Optical System
Small Business Information
18006 Skypark Circle #108, Irvine, CA, 92714
James D. Trolinger, Ph.d.
AbstractTo fully capitalize on the use of focal plane arrays in seekers, unconventional optics with high resolution,, low f/number, low weight and volume are required. Diffractive optical elements use the diffractive properties of light as opposed to refraction and reflection. A thin film diffractive optical element which can be placed on any surface, can emulate virtually any optical component leading to considerable weight and size reduction. MetroLaser has demonstrated that functions such as scanning, zooming, and spectral discrimination are achievable with diffractive optics and has exploited them in related problems. Two types of diffractive optics, holographic optical elements and binary optical elements are applicable in seekers. After a master element is constructed, additional replicas can be produced at essentially the raw material cost. The proposal is to construct, test, and demonstrate a prototype sensor employing diffractive optics that operate in the IR band and that advantageously replace existing seeker optics. The proposal shows that a considerable commercial potential exists for such optics.
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