Optical Aperture Gating for Single-pixel and Imaging LIDAR Systems

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Navy
Amount:
$749,943.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
N68335-11-C-0231
Agency Tracking Number:
N093-164-0534
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
N093-164
Solicitation Number:
2009.3
Small Business Information
Arete Associates
P.O. Box 2607, Winnetka, CA, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
082191198
Principal Investigator:
Ryan Epstein
Staff Scientist
(303) 651-6756
repstein@arete.com
Business Contact:
Gregory Fetzer
Director Optical Systems
(303) 651-6756
gfetzer@arete.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
One of the key limitations in optical band underwater imaging and communications systems is the excessive attenuation and scattering light experiences in traversing the intervening media. Strong attenuation fuels the demand for high transmitter energy and high sensitivity (photon counting) detectors. Strong backscatter can temporarily blind or damage highly sensitive detectors, undermining the systems ability to sense (or communicate) over both short and long distances. In principle, the"backscatter problem"can be mitigated by employing high dynamic range detectors (i.e. a detector that is responsive to both high and low levels of photons). This requirement is often at odds with the sensitivity requirement of detecting a few photons/nanosecond. One potential solution is use a fast optical switch (or attenuator) in front of the detector to gate out the undesired near-field backscatter. Current technology cannot address all of the needs, such as polarization insensitivity, large aperture, and wide acceptance angle. Arete Associates has devised an elegant solution to this problem that promises to meet the demanding requirements in a compact, low-power, open-architecture module. This program will result in the development of a stand-alone, polarization insensitive, optical attenuator module capable of achieving fast switching (<100 ns) and high contrast with large spatial (>1 cm2) and angular (>+/- 10 degrees) apertures and with low insertion loss.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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