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US Navy Granted Patent for Metal Metamaterial

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Ben Conley, an electro-optics engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division (NSWC-Crane), has developed a special metamaterial to bring full-spectrum IR to soldiers.

Using metal metamaterial structures, Conley built an IR antenna that can see the IR lightwaves and expand the sensed spectrum by adding short- and mid-wavelength IR. The Navy was granted a U.S. patent on the technology.

US Marine Corps Cpl. Benjamin Harris, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC), looks through his night ocular device. Courtesy of Gabino Perez/USMC.
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Benjamin Harris, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment attached to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC), looks through his night ocular device. Courtesy of Gabino Perez/USMC.

“Our ground forces will be able to see much more, with better clarity, in all environments including caves and tunnels,” Conley said.

For the past 12 months, Conley has been funded by the Office of Naval Research. He is now creating a prototype for testing and evaluation.

In coordination with the Technology Transfer Office at NSWC-Crane, TechLink, the U.S. Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary for technology transfer, is marketing the technology to companies for night vision devices or other applications like machine vision, thermal imagers, security systems, and self-driving cars.

Businesses that can integrate Conley’s invention into their products, whether they be night vision goggles or self-driving cars, will need a patent license agreement that includes a commercialization plan.

Scientists and business leaders at NSWC-Crane provide R&D, acquisition, and in-service technical support for sensors, electronics, and electronic and special warfare weapons for the Navy and across the U.S. Department of Defense.

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2019
BusinessBen ConleyNaval Surface Warfare Center-CraneNSWC-Cranelight sourcesSensors & Detectorsresearch &developmentdefensematerialsAmericaslight speed

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