Large-Format Membrane Mirror Light Modulator for Infrared Scene Projection

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9302-13-C-0001
Agency Tracking Number: F073-138-1616a
Amount: $943,740.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF073-138
Solicitation Number: 2007.3
Small Business Information
235 Bear Hill Rd, Waltham, MA, 02451
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Michael Whitson
 Senior Research Engineer
 (781) 890-3600
Business Contact
 Cardinal Warde
Title: President
Phone: (781) 890-3600
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: This Phase II SBIR effort will focus on the design and fabrication of a wide-format mid-wave infrared scene projector (with 1000x500 pixels, each 40 um on a side) based on VLSI-Membrane-Mirror-Light-Modulator (VLSI-MMLM) technology. They key technologies that will be developed in this program to make this project successful include: (1) reticule stitching of the required large-area high-voltage VLSI driver chip, (2) The development of polymer MEMS structures to support the membrane mirror atop the large rectangular chip, and (3) the development and implementation of an off-axis Three-Mirror, Anastigmatic (TMA) optical readout system to eliminate stray light and thereby optimize the contrast ratio of the system. The electronic interface to the VLSI-MMLM will also be updated to be fully compatible with the large-format VLSI chip and to support its operation. The modulator will employ a mostly-metal membrane for low-temperature operation down to -35C. In addition to low temperature operation, the performance goals of wide-format projector include: 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 120 Hz framing rate and flickerless operation with at least an 8 field of view. BENEFIT: This research is expected to lead to a family of compact, low-cost, high-performance large-area infrared projectors that offer operation over a large temperature range, large numbers of pixels, high temperature resolution, and multispectral operation ranging from the visible to the long-wave infrared. Commercial applications of the technology include: (1) multi-spectral and infrared scene projectors for government and commercial testing applications (2) visible, mid-wave and long-wave infrared shutters, (3) spatial light modulators for optical signal processing and adaptive optics, (4) sensors and systems for industrial inspection, robotic vision and medical imaging, and (5) large-screen projection displays such as digital cinema.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government