Optical Aperture Gating for Single-pixel and Imaging LIDAR Systems

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