Novel Non-mechanical Liquid Crystal based Foveated Imaging System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: N10PC20065
Agency Tracking Number: 09SB3-0118
Amount: $98,960.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: SB093-008
Solicitation Number: 2009.3
Small Business Information
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107, Lafayette, CO, 80026
DUNS: 602673188
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (303) 604-0077
Business Contact
Phone: (303) 604-0077
Research Institution
A novel foveated imaging technology is proposed, suitable for integration into an urban surveillance system. The proposed technology has no moving parts has low power requirements and requires a single imaging camera. The technology exploits the beam steering capabilities of liquid crystal polarization gratings (LCPGs) which diffract light only into the m=±1 orders according to the handedness of incident circular polarization which is controlled by switchable halfwave plates. The LCPGs steer the high field angles into the axial direction of a lens train where a high resolution image is produced. Field angles simultaneously steered into off-axis directions produce a blurred image region due to lens aberrations. A second LCPG stack and lenses re-image and re-steer the object field to the image plane reversing grating dispersion and image shift. The result is a static image field with a moveable foveated region. The technology is suitable for wide angle imaging as the lens aberrations do not have to be corrected for high angles. The system is integrated with a hemispherical mirror to capture a 360°X20° field of regard. A 10x foveated region zoom is provided by additional small diameter axial lenses. Polarization independent operation is possible using a two arm system.

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

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