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Coherence Collapse - Speckle Reduction at the Laser Source

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8224-09-C-0032
Agency Tracking Number: F083-233-0498
Amount: $99,976.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-233
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2009-03-23
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-03-22
Small Business Information
6222 185th Avenue N.E., Redmond, WA, 98052
DUNS: 838707941
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Taha Masood
 Senior Systems Engineer
 (425) 882-6743
Business Contact
 David Westgor
Title: Associate General Counsel
Phone: (425) 936-6821
Research Institution
Laser projection systems deliver the highest resolution, contrast ratios, color purity, and screen uniformity as compared to other display technologies used in flight simulation but suffer from an image artifact called speckle that manifests as random variations in the image intensity resulting from interference of many projected and scattered coherent laser light waves.  Contractor proposes a speckle reduction technique based on operating three (Red, Green, Blue) projector lasers in the state of coherence collapse to achieve speckle contrast reduction to below 5%. This method will significantly reduce real time imaging system speckle noise while maintaining overall image quality and spatial and temporal display resolution.  In phase I, the speckle reduction due to spectral broadening and the impact of increased high frequency noise will be evaluated for display applications. The effect of coherence collapse state in destroying the fixed relative phase-relationship between modes of a multi-frequency laser will be studied.  Research goals are to demonstrate the feasibility of coherence collapse as a speckle reduction method that can achieve less than 5% speckle contrast and to propose a design that incorporates coherence collapse inside Microvision pico projector engine, as well as existing and future laser projectors in flight simulators and commercial applications.   BENEFIT: The research conducted during this phase will enable significant reduction or elimination of optical speckle in real-time coherent imaging systems.  Current laser projection systems used by the Air Force for flight simulation suffer from significant image speckle which reduces image detail and overall realism. The solution proposed will reduce the speckle phenomena while maintaining the other advantages of laser imaging systems.  Potential commercial applications of the research and development include introduction into near-term see-through eyewear product for military and consumer markets and full-color see-through Head-Up Displays for airborne and ground (combat and tactical) vehicles.

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

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