Low-Temperature Multi-Spectral Membrane-Mirror Projector

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9302-09-C-0017
Agency Tracking Number: F073-138-1616
Amount: $749,953.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF073-138
Solicitation Number: 2007.3
Small Business Information
3 Preston Court, Bedford, MA, 01730
DUNS: 101184950
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Travis Simpkins
 Sr. Research Scientist
 (781) 275-3100
Business Contact
 Cardinal Warde
Title: Director of Research
Phone: (781) 275-3100
Email: warde@optronsystems.com
Research Institution
The Phase II goal of the Low-temperature multi-spectral MEMS projector project is to demonstrate a working prototype of a 4-channel (MWIR and visible RGB) flickerless scene projector operating between -35C and 50C. This multi-spectral projector is based the VLSI-membrane-mirror light modulator (VLSI-MMLM) technology which uses a membrane mirror to spatially modulate an off-chip light source. The Phase II program will continue the membrane materials research with the aim of advancing the mostly-metal nitrocellulose membrane which showed promise in the Phase I. The 4-channel architecture that was designed in the Phase I will be implemented using a TMA-optics design to better control stray light. This Phase II will also focus on integrating the VLSI-MMLM into a Santa Barbara Infrared designed dewar. The electronic interface to the VLSI-MMLM will also be updated to support 4-channel operation and to be fully compatible with the second-generation chip. The overall technical goals of this program will be to develop a low-temperature multi-spectral scene projector with a a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 500 x 500 pixels (1280 x 960 in a future commercial product), 120 Hz framing rate and flickerless operation with at least a 6° field of view. BENEFIT: This research is expected to lead to a family of compact, low-cost, high-performance multi-spectral and infrared projectors that offer large temperature range, large numbers of pixels, high temperature resolution, and highly correlated dual-band spectral output. Commercial applications of the technology include: (1) multi-spectral and infrared scene projectors for government and commercial testing applications (2) visible, mid-wave and long-wave infrared shutters, (3) spatial light modulators for optical signal processing and adaptive optics, (4) sensors and systems for industrial inspection, robotic vision and medical imaging, and (5) large-screen projection displays such as digital cinema.

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

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