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Proceedings Paper

Optical beam steering using surface micromachined gratings and optical phased arrays
Author(s): David M. Burns; Victor M. Bright; Steven C. Gustafson; Edward A. Watson
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Paper Abstract

Two categories of optical beam steering micro-electro- mechanical systems (MEMS) were investigated: variable blaze gratings (VBGs) and linear optical phased arrays. All devices were surface micromachined using the multi-user MEMS processes (MUMPs). VBGs use an adjustable blaze angle to direct the majority of reflected light into a selectable diffraction order. Diffraction efficiencies greater than 50% were demonstrated. Linear optical phased arrays use a single row of piston micromirrors to create a far-field pattern with a steerable main lobe along one axis. All devices were constructed of polysilicon and gold and were actuated with electrostatic force. Electrostatic actuation provides high speed operation at a very low drive power. These optical beam steering devices discussed in this work are less optically efficient than a single pivoting mirror, but they require no post-fabrication assembly and can handle large beam diameters. Also, the low individual mass of the elements in surface micromachined VBGs and optical phased arrays yield faster system response times than a single macroscale pivoting mirror.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3131, Optical Scanning Systems: Design and Applications, (7 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277738
Show Author Affiliations
David M. Burns, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Victor M. Bright, Air Force Institute of Technology (United States)
Steven C. Gustafson, Univ. of Dayton Research Institute (United States)
Edward A. Watson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3131:
Optical Scanning Systems: Design and Applications
Leo Beiser; Stephen F. Sagan, Editor(s)

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