Optimized Asphere Fabrication and Finishing, for Future Optical Windows

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-05-C-4313
Agency Tracking Number: B041-035-1319
Amount: $748,438.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA04-035-AF
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212, Annapolis, MD, 21401
DUNS: 153908801
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Anthony DiGiovanni
 Spinel Program Manager
 (410) 987-1656
Business Contact
 Sharon Fehrenbacher
Title: CEO
Phone: (410) 224-3710
Email: sharon@techassess.com
Research Institution
The ORCLE program is a hybrid high-bandwith communication design based on laser, infrared and radio transmissions between aircraft and other communication points. The communications terminals that protrude into the air stream around the aircraft require a protective cover that can reduce drag and minimize damage from heat, dust, and rain. Technical requirements for suitable windows/domes include Laser/IR/RF transmission at all temperatures, resistance to erosion and heat damage, and strength, within an acceptable cost target. Magnesium aluminate spinel offers a low-cost option to fabricate the necessary components, which are potentially less costly to operate than competitive transparent ceramics, sapphire and ALON. Spinel is optically superior in the infrared particularly from 3 to 5.5 microns. Its cubic crystal structure is optically isotropic, unlike sapphire, which exhibits birefringence. This Phase II development effort will focus on improving the manufacturability of high-transmission spinel and the material’s engineering properties. Large flat spinel windows will be hot pressed and HIPed and large spinel domes will be pressureless sintered and HIPed. Both processes have been proven by TA&T for smaller windows and domes. The two process routes offer different opportunities for improvement of spinel’s engineering properties.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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