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Boston Micro Develops Retroreflector for Army

Photonics.com
Mar 2010
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 29, 2010 — Boston Micromachines Corp., a provider of MEMS-based optical products for wavefront control systems, announced it has developed a modulating retroreflector (MRR) for asymmetric free-space covert communication and remote sensor integration.

The MMR was developed for the US Army in conjunction with Boston University’s College of Engineering.

The portable, compact, ultralow-power and lightweight device allows for long-range ground- and air-based communication and can be utilized in a range of military and nonmilitary applications, including battlefield communications, ship-to-ship naval situations and satellite-to-group station data transfer.

It employs the company’s MEMS modulator mounted in a hollow corner cube retroreflector for passively reflecting and modulating an interrogating laser source. Its modulator mirror is controlled using resonant, power-scavenging, high-voltage drive electronics that are capable of 24-hour continuous operation at 180-kHz data rates on a single 9-V battery.

Its development was funded by an award from the Department of Defense through the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR).

For more information, visit: www.bostonmicromachines.com


GLOSSARY
modulator
See acousto-optic modulator; electro-optic modulator.
optical
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
reflector
A type of conducting surface or material used to reflect radiant energy.
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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