Novel Non-mechanical Liquid Crystal based Foveated Imaging System
Small Business Information
450 Courtney Way, Unit 107, Lafayette, CO, 80026
AbstractA 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 360oX20o 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.
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