Topsfield, MA, United States
Topsfield, MA, United States

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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 147.53K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: OPTRA proposes the development of a three-band visible (VIS), shortwave infrared (SWIR), and midwave infrared (MWIR) high dynamic range digital micromirror device (DMD)-based scene projector incorporating OPTRA"s patented structured illumination technique for achieving low background scene projection and high contrast at high frame rates with the associated short integration times. This approach will use two source-conditioning DMDs operating in binary mode to illuminate three projector DMDs operating in either binary or PWM grayscale mode. One projector DMD is used for each spectral channel, and one source conditioning DMD is used for the VIS and SWIR channels and the other for the MWIR channel. Dichroics are used to produce a spatially registered total projected image which is high in contrast owing to the structured illumination and is also effectively analog owing to the binary illumination patterns which appear spatially grayscaled due to low pass spatial filtering by relay optics; these qualities are independent of frame rate and the associated integration time of the unit under test. The proposed solution also has a flicker-free mode where all DMDs are operated in binary mode. BENEFIT: The proposed solution offers high contrast, infinite bit-depth scene projection at high frame rates and over three spectral bands as well as excellent uniformity and 100% pixel operability. Applications include training and test of visible through midwave infrared imagers and threat detectors.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 146.02K | Year: 2013

ABSTRACT: The Air Force is requires an innovative multi-aperture sensor for mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and long-wave infrared (LWIR) capable of extended operation at a speed between Mach 4 and Mach 7 and an altitude between 50,000 and 70,000ft, for navigation and terminal homing applications. The leading edge of a vehicle traveling at Mach 7 may experience temperatures over 1700C, while typical optical materials such as Zinc Sulfide (ZnS) oxidize at around 200C. OPTRA proposes a system based on a multi-aperture telescope. This approach uses multiple small optical windows, minimizing atmospheric distortion across each window and enabling conductive cooling of the windows through their mounting surfaces. For sufficiently small light sources, this approach can match the resolution achievable with a single large aperture and enables the use of an algorithm to remove atmospheric distortion. The sensor will have an outer layer made from a heat-resistant alloy, and an inner layer made from a material with high thermal conductivity which will be actively cooled. The heat load on the optical windows will be dissipated by thermal conduction through the inner layer. A prototype will be designed based on results from fluid, thermal and optical simulations using FEA, as well as from breadboard tests. BENEFIT: Resolution of 1.5 arc-minutes at 10m for sufficiently small light sources Small individual windows enable conductive cooling of infrared windows in hypersonic airstream Small individual windows minimize atmospheric distortions across each window Algorithm using closure phases eliminates phase errors between windows for sufficiently small sources Physically conformal: sensor surface contours can exactly match the desired vehicle surface contours


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 149.87K | Year: 2013

ABSTRACT: The Air Force is seeking a hyperspectral imager capable of detecting missiles, aircraft and artillery fire from a satellite platform. OPTRA proposes to address this need through the development of a grating-based hyperspectral compressive imager. In this design, a grating would be used to diffract the incoming light from the energetic events. The diffracted orders would then be imaged onto a digital micromirror device (DMD). The DMD will be used to perform two distinct functions: order sorting and spatial filtering. The order sorting is accomplished by placing bandpass filters in front of two detectors: one collecting illumination from mirrors in the Son state and one collecting illumination from mirrors in the Soff state. These filters will have no overlap and will span the spectral range of the instrument, thus separating spectrally distinct overlaying orders. The DMDs will also be used for spatial filtering of the incoming light. A series of detector measurements will be made as a series of pseudo-random masks are applied to the DMD. Using these measurements, the image on the DMD can be reconstructed using the tenets of compressive imaging. Advantages of this approach include no moving parts and no infrared (IR) focal plane array (FPA). BENEFIT: High sensitivity (low per-pixel NEf'T]) owing to superior D* of single element photodetectors relative to focal plane arrays Higher dynamic range with significantly reduced problems with localized saturation Excellent uniformity with 100% Spixel operability Significantly lower cost of the single element detectors relative to an infrared focal plane arrays Commercial Applications: Unmanned aerial vehicle intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; Monitoring high crime areas for muzzle flash


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.28K | Year: 2013

OPTRA proposes the development of an imaging spectrometer for greenhouse gas and volcanic gas imaging based on matched spectral filtering and compressive imaging. The matched spectral filter compressive imager (MSF-CI) system will be capable of simultaneously imaging and quantifying a series of compounds of interest via passive IR spectroscopy from an airborne or space-based platform.The MSF-CI operates in the 3-5.5 micron spectral range and employs two digital micromirror devices (DMDs)?one to encode the spatial information and a second to encode the spectral information?a dispersive spectrometer, and a single element thermoelectrically cooled mercury cadmium telluride detector. The proposed system offers a significant cost advantage relative to both imagers and hyperspectral imagers presently available in this spectral range as it does not require a costly infrared focal plane array (FPA). Moreover, the MSF-CI makes efficient use of compressive sensing and matched spectral filtering, resulting in minimized data bandwidth while preserving the information of interest. In addition, the use of the DMD in place of a conventional FPA offers significantly better image uniformity, pixel operability, signal to noise at low light levels, and dynamic range. The overall package is expected to be compact and rugged, making it ideal for airborne/space based applications. The proposed Phase I effort will produce a breadboard MSF-CI system which will be characterized and used for a carbon dioxide imaging demonstration.


Patent
Optra, Inc. | Date: 2013-05-13

A digital pathology imaging method may comprise receiving a plurality of image sections on a cloud server, the plurality of image sections being a result of splitting an initial digital image; stitching the plurality of image sections on the cloud server into a reconstituted digital image; and providing access to the reconstituted digital image. A system for digital pathology imaging may comprise a cloud server for receiving a plurality of image sections, wherein the cloud server comprises an image stitching module configured to stitch the plurality of image sections into a reconstituted digital image. Also, a system for digital pathology imaging may comprise: an image preprocessor configured to preprocess an initial digital image such that correct alignment of a plurality of tiles are enabled; an image splitter configured to split the initial digital images into a plurality of image sections with a stitching provision in pixels; and an asynchronous messaging module configured to push the plurality of image sections to the cloud server.


Grant
Agency: Department of Homeland Security | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 754.78K | Year: 2015

The widespread use and deployment of laser systems in the public domain has led to the need for laser exposure measurement systems that operate over wide spectral range and provide sufficient dynamic range to measure exposure relative to maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits and establish normal hazard zones (NHZ). OPTRA, Inc. proposes a solution based on multiple detector arrays, custom CMOS readout integrated circuitry and diffractive optics to directly measure the laser characteristics and evaluate the exposure with respect to MPE limits established by the ANSI Z136.1 standard and determine NHZ.. In the Phase II R&D effort, OPTRA, Inc. will design, develop, build and test a UV through LWIR laser NHZ measurement system.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.82K | Year: 2015

NASA is interested characterizing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases critical to global warming phenomena, and their fluxes over time. For this reason, NASA has invested in the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON), which comprises sun trackers with high resolution Fourier Transform Spectrometers. NASA is currently looking to expand their observation network in order to provide more data for their atmospheric research, but this will require a reduction in spectrometer size and cost. OPTRA proposes to address this need through the development of a novel hybrid spectrometer design that leverages the strengths of Michelson and lamellar grating interferometers, while mitigating their individual weaknesses. The end result will be a compact, rugged, low cost spectrometer capable of the same performance as the current TCCON network. This technology will further be extendable to any applications where spectral data is required, but instrument size and cost are at a premium. Examples include methane pipeline monitoring, volcano emission characterization or UAV-based remote sensing.


Grant
Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 154.98K | Year: 2015

Multi and hyperspectral imaging techniques have been effectively commercialized in the visible waveband to give pointbypoint spectral information about a scene. The current goal is to adapt these technologies in order to extend the spectral range into the near ultraviolet. Specifically this proposal addresses the development of a tunable filter to be used in these hyperspectral imaging systems. The development of a near ultraviolet tunable filter can be effectively addressed through the use of PancharatnamBerry Phase liquid crystal gratings. These gratings will have the unique capability to provide 1 nm resolution over the full 300400 nm spectral range, while also providing rapid tenability, a 1 aperture, a 5 degree FOV, high inband transmission and low crosstalk between spectral channels. The proposed technology could be utilized to address a broad range of commercial applications including machine vision, environmental monitoring, biomedical imaging, and explosives detection.


Grant
Agency: Department of Homeland Security | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.85K | Year: 2014

The widespread use and deployment of laser systems has led to the need for laser exposure measurement systems that operate over wide spectral range and provide sufficient dynamic range to measure exposure relative to maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits and establish normal hazard zones. OPTRA, Inc. proposes a solution based on the complementary combination of CMOS readout integrated circuitry and diffractive optics to directly measure the laser characteristics and evaluate the exposure with respect to MPE limits established by the ANSI Z136.1 standard. In the Phase I R&D effort, OPTRA, Inc. will develop optical and electronics models, perform tradeoff analyses, predict system performance, and perform a laboratory demonstration to establish the feasibility of the proposed approach to meet the DHS requirements.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT:OPTRA is proposing to design, build and test a dual-band infrared scene projector based on digital micromirror device (DMD) technology. DMDs are an ideal spatial modulator for scene projection applications that require high frame rates and fast radiance rise/fall times. DMDs offer further advantages of applicability in the spectral regions from ultraviolet through mid-wave infrared, and are commercially available off-the-shelf items. During the Phase I effort, OPTRA developed an innovative means of using DMDs to generate flickerless grayscale images thereby effectively addressing a common criticism of this scene projection technology. Provisional specifications call for operation in the 3-5m spectral region with future extension into the visible region. The OPTRA scene projector will use innovative OPTRA techniques to eliminate the temporal intensity modulation associated with PWM. The Phase II prototype will offer >6-bits grayscale resolution, 22kHz frame rates, 300W/(cm2sr) pupil radiance and radiance rise and fall times on the order of several microseconds. The scene projector proposed herein will generate dynamic accurate simulations of operational scenes relevant to the testing of a wide array of sensors, with potential extension into next generation sensor test technology.BENEFIT:The scene projector proposed herein will be able to generate dynamic accurate simulations of operational scenes relevant to the testing of a wide array of sensors currently under development, with potential extension into next generation sensor test technology.

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