ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 26, 2012 — Advanced Photonix Inc. announced Wednesday its receipt of a follow-on, 21-month, $1.5 million contract from the US Air Force to provide terahertz process control instrumentation to support F-35 joint strike fighter production.
The contract is a commercialization pilot program award to ensure the quality of specialty stealth coatings applied by Northrop Grumman to a subsystem on the F-35. The commercialization pilot program will accelerate the transition of small business innovation research (SBIR) funded technologies to Phase III production and deployment purchases by the Department of Defense.
The two previous phases demonstrated feasibility in the lab and in Northrop Grumman’s facility. This contract funds further application and system development, which will culminate in the delivery of two production units for deployment on the manufacturing floor by the end of 2013.
Once completed, the system will consist of the T-Ray 4000 control unit, which is connected to a miniature terahertz transceiver via a flexible umbilical up to 100 m in length mounted onto an existing robot arm within a paint booth. A handheld version that will allow measurement on cured coatings without the robot is also planned.
The proposed system could apply other coatings of interest to the US Army and US Navy. The sensors also could be used for monitoring and inspecting coatings and paints applied in industrial settings, such as automobile manufacturing.
Advanced Photonix manufactures optoelectronic product solutions, high-speed optical receivers and terahertz instrumentation for telecom, homeland security, military, medical and industrial markets.
For more information, visit: www.advancedphotonix.com