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Boston Micromachines Developing Device to Prevent Friendly Fire

Photonics.com
Nov 2007
Boston Micromachines Corp. (BMC), a Watertown, Mass.-based provider of MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) -based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, today announced that it has received a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) award from the US Army through the Department of Defense. The award will allow BMC and its research partner, Boston University, to continue developing its Secure Communicating Optical Ultrasmall Transponder (SCOUT), which previously received a Phase I STTR award. The device is intended to reduce "friendly fire" incidents on the battlefield through secure optical communication using an active mirror to rapidly identify friendly soldiers, vehicles, or aircraft. The goal for the two-year Phase II project is to develop a working prototype of a compact, portable, low power, lightweight, and low-cost modulated retro-reflecting device for free-space covert communication and remote sensor interrogation.



GLOSSARY
adaptive optics
Optical components or assemblies whose performance is monitored and controlled so as to compensate for aberrations, static or dynamic perturbations such as thermal, mechanical and acoustical disturbances, or to adapt to changing conditions, needs or missions. The most familiar example is the "rubber mirror,'' whose surface shape, and thus reflective qualities, can be controlled by electromechanical means. See also active optics; phase conjugation.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
sensor
1. A generic term for detector. 2. A complete optical/mechanical/electronic system that contains some form of radiation detector.
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