OPTICAL WAVEFRONT COMPUTER FOR STABILIZING LARGE SPACE STRUCTURES

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Missile Defense Agency
Amount:
$500,000.00
Award Year:
1990
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
9996
Agency Tracking Number:
9996
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
3 Preston Ct, Bedford, MA, 01730
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Ira Farber
(617) 275-3100
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
THIS STUDY INVESTIGATES AN UNCONVENTIONAL OPTICAL SUBSYSTEMS, THE OPTICAL WAVEFRONT COMPUTER (OWC). THE OWC, WHEN USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH AN IMPRECISELY FIGURED LARGE-APERTURE OPTICAL ELEMENT SUCH AS A TELESCOPE MIRROR, CAN MEASURE AND COMPENSATE THE OPTICAL ABERRATIONS INTRODUCED BY UTILIZING A HOLOGRAPHIC OPTICAL PROCESSOR TO PROVIDE PHASE CORRECTION. THIS TECHNIQUE ELIMINATES THE NEED FOR LARGE, COMPLEX DIGITAL COMPUTERS AS INCORPORATED IN CONVENTIONAL EARTH-BASED ADAPTIVE OPTICAL SYSTEMS. THE OWS IS A COMPACT LIGHT-WEIGHT SYSTEM THAT OPERATES WITH PASSIVE INCOHERENT OR COHERENT ILLUMINATION AND IS SCALABLE TO TENS OF THOUSANDS OF INDEPENDENT CORRECTION SUBAPERTURES. THE OWC EMPLOYS A MOSTLY OPTICAL PROCESSOR TO COMPUTE PHASE. UNLIKE CONVENTIONAL SYSTEMS, IT CAN DRIVE EITHER OPTICALLY OR ELECTRONICALLY-ADDRESSED OR PHASE-ONLY CORRECTION ELEMENTS. ITS COMPLEXITY DOES NOT SCALE WITH THE NUMBER OF RESOLUTION CHANNELS. IT REQUIRES MINIMAL OPERATING POWER, AND ITS COST IS EXPECTED TO BE LOWER. COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS INCLUDE ASTRONOMICAL INSTRUMENTATION DEVELOPMENT, OPTICAL TESTING, HORIZONTAL-PATH LASER COMMUNICATIONS, AND CORRECTION OF ABERRATIONS IN OPTICAL INSTRUMENTS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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