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Proceedings Article

Optical beam steering using surface micromachined gratings and optical phased arrays

[+] Author Affiliations
David M. Burns, Victor M. Bright

Air Force Institute of Technology (USA)

Steven C. Gustafson

Univ. of Dayton Research Institute (USA)

Edward A. Watson

Air Force Research Lab. (USA)

Proc. SPIE 3131, Optical Scanning Systems: Design and Applications, 99 (July 7, 1997); doi:10.1117/12.277738
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From Conference Volume 3131

  • Optical Scanning Systems: Design and Applications
  • Leo Beiser; Stephen F. Sagan
  • San Diego, CA, United States | July 27, 1997

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.

© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

David M. Burns ; Victor M. Bright ; Steven C. Gustafson and Edward A. Watson
"Optical beam steering using surface micromachined gratings and optical phased arrays", Proc. SPIE 3131, Optical Scanning Systems: Design and Applications, 99 (July 7, 1997); doi:10.1117/12.277738; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.277738


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