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Proceedings Paper

Creation and transition of digital light processing technology to defense applications
Author(s): Darrel G. Hopper
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Paper Abstract

A key challenge to defense science and technology programs is the identification of areas ripe for focused government investment so as to make impossible things possible on an accelerated schedule. The creation, transfer to commercial products, and transition to operational military systems of the Texas Instruments (TI) digital micromirror device (DMD) projection display technology from 1987-2005 is a case study in how DoD seeks invest in S&T for warfighting advantage while renewing the civil economy and enabling domestic production of key electronic components. The DoD investment in DMD reduced the risk enough to merit TI productization and resulted in the first VGA single ship color wheel prototype in 1992 (introduced as first commercial product in 1996) and in the first 2.36 Mpx 3-chip color demonstration system in 1995 (a resolution that is only now being introduced as a mass production product). The 1995 demonstrator was the world’s first 100% digital display system. The tenth anniversary of this 2005 achievement presents an appropriate occasion to review and document the success of this prior Air Force and DARPA investment as measured by the subsequent adoption in a wide range of civil and, especially, defense applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5801, Cockpit and Future Displays for Defense and Security, (25 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.597664
Show Author Affiliations
Darrel G. Hopper, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5801:
Cockpit and Future Displays for Defense and Security
Darrel G. Hopper; Eric W. Forsythe; David C. Morton; Charles E. Bradford; Henry J. Girolamo, Editor(s)

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