The use of coded apertures in a large area MWIR system introduces a number of difficulties including the effects of
diffraction and other distortions not observed in shorter wavelength systems. A new approach is being developed that
addresses the effects of diffraction while gaining the benefits of coded apertures, thus providing the flexibility to vary
resolution, possess sufficient light gathering power, and achieve a wide field of view (WFOV). The photonic MEMS
artificial eyelid array technology is currently being applied as the coded aperture in this program for surveillance
enabling technology development. Speed, lifetime, packaging and scalability are all critical factors for the MEMS eyelid
technology to determine system efficacy as well as military and commercial usefulness. The electronic eyelid is the
fundamental addressable unit for adaptive code generation and will allow the system to multiplex in time for increased
resolution. The proposed system consists of four subsystems in parallel with each subsystem consisting of four subapertures.
Each sub-aperture contains an artificial eyelid array capable of 36 different, independent patterns of open
500Âµm eyelids corresponding to 36 different look directions. Dynamic aperture arrays were fabricated on both quartz
and sapphire substrates for operation in the visible to MWIR. Both 8x8 and 40x40 element arrays were designed,
fabricated, and tested with the capability of 4, 8, and 16 unique pattern combinations. Process and device improvements
have been implemented to improve the yield of the MEMS arrays. In addition to mechanical evaluations, the eyelid
arrays were tested optically to demonstrate the capability of multiple look directions.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.