Chalcogenide Infrared Fiber Manufacturing Technology

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-12-M-0358
Agency Tracking Number: N12A-024-0027
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: N12A-T024
Solicitation Number: 2012.A
Small Business Information
IRFLex Corporation
300 Ringgold Industrial Parkway, Danville, VA, -
DUNS: 623702557
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Francois Chenard
 President
 (434) 483-4304
 francois.chenard@irflex.com
Business Contact
 Francois Chenard
Title: President
Phone: (434) 483-4304
Email: francois.chenard@irflex.com
Research Institution
 University of North Carolina
 Ishwar Aggarwal
 Dept. of Phys. and Opt. Sc.
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC, 28223-0001
 (704) 867-5897
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Chalcogenide glass fibers are extensively used for delivery of mid-infrared (2 to 5 micron) laser wavelengths. They are needed for development of next-generation directed infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) systems. These new systems will have a reduction of both weight and size allowing their installation in vehicle and aircraft with stringent weight and size requirements. These fibers have industrial uses, such as remote sensing, environmental monitoring, and spectroscopy. Chalcogenide fibers, however, lose about 50% transmission beyond ~ 10 meters and suffer from low mechanical strength passing the 15 kpsi tensile proof test. The main contributors to the loss level and mechanical strength are the various impurities in the glass, and contaminant exposure and imperfections introduced during the fiber draw. Therefore, to obtain good fiber transmission over 10 meters and improved mechanical properties, a novel manufacturing process will be developed. The proposed work will demonstrate the feasibility and plan of developing an innovative manufacturing process for producing improved chalcogenide glass fibers. This new process will bring modification to both glass and fiber production processes. The new manufacturing technology will enable production of optical fibers with losses below 0.15 dB/m and tensile proof strength at 20 kpsi or greater.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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