Optical Grade Sapphire Manufacturing Growth Process for IR Window Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-12-C-5168
Agency Tracking Number: F101-001-0007
Amount: $5,119,316.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF101C-001
Solicitation Number: 2010.1
Small Business Information
9931 Franklin Avenue, Franklin Park, IL, -
DUNS: 967266123
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Levine
 Senior Development Engine
 (847) 975-8079
Business Contact
 William Weissman
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (847) 457-3610
Email: bweissman@rubicon-es2.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Sapphire possesses a number of physical properties, including high strength, high melting point, chemical inertness, and excellent transparency in the visible and IR spectrum, which make it an attractive window material for military applications. For Phase I, Rubicon Technology demonstrated a sapphire crystal growth process to MRL 5 capable of growing slabs 20"x 14". During Phase II the process will be scaled up and finalized to produce polished sapphire windows 36"x 18"x 0.8". All aspects of the process, starting from growth and progressing through slicing, surface grinding, polishing, and characterization will be performed and finalized in order to reach MRL 7. The needs of the end user, Lockheed Martin, will be considered to ultimately provide a drop-in replacement for the current sapphire windows used in the Joint Strike Fighter Electro-Optical Targeting System. BENEFIT: The ability to provide large scale sapphire windows will address new markets where application are currently not serviceable by current products due to limitations in window size and thickness and/or concerns over strength and optical quality of the material. Some specific target markets include commercial aircraft and commercial shipping which will benefit from the enhanced optical qualities as well as enhanced strength of sapphire over conventional materials. In addition, such windows can be used to protect onboard imaging and targeting systems for the Joint Strike Fighter and RC-135 Cobra Ball. Furthermore, large sapphire windows can fulfill the need for transparent armor in Army vehicles requiring maximum situational awareness that opaque materials cannot supply.

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

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