Mosaic imager using wave front control

Patent US7576308

Description

AFRL has developed a wave front control system (“WFCS”) that organizes the object scene into a mosaic comprised of a grid of segments and transmits each segment in a temporal sequence. The WFCS steers the light fronts emanating from each segment one segment at a time, through a series of optical components that transmit the light fronts respectively emanating from each segment onto a digital imaging sensor. An optical recording device records each sensed segment, and the object scene is composed by assembling the recorded segments.

To optically sense or record an image, an object scene is imaged onto a single sensor. This is typically accomplished by collecting light reflected from the object scene and focusing that light onto the sensor, such as a charged coupled device or complementary metal oxide semiconductor imaging array. 

Abstract

A wave front control system (“WFCS”) organizes the object scene into a mosaic comprised of a grid of segments and transmits each segment in a temporal sequence. The WFCS steers the light fronts emanating from each segment one segment at a time, through a series of optical components that transmit the light fronts respectively emanating from each segment onto a digital imaging sensor. An optical recording device records each sensed segment, and the object scene is composed by assembling the recorded segments. This abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract, and is intended to allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims.

TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL (TRL)

TRL 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept Active R&D is initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate the analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. Examples include components that are not yet integrated or representative.
Air Force Research Laboratory- Directed Energy Directorate (RD) logo

Air Force Research Laboratory- Directed Energy Directorate (RD)

Kirtland AFB, NM

Advantages

  • High image resolution
  • Wide field of view
  • No seams or gaps
  • Resolves wave front errors like field curvature, astigmatism, and coma