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Boston Micromachines to Build Device to Prevent Friendly Fire

Watertown, Mass. – September 5, 2006:   Boston Micromachines Corporation and Boston University have been selected for a Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) award to develop an ultra-small optical Identify Friend or Foe device.
  Boston Micromachines Corporation, a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, has been selected by the United States Army for a Phase 1 STTR award through the Department of Defense.

The STTR award of approximately $100,000 will allow Boston Micromachines and its research partner Boston University to begin development of the Secure Communicating Optical Ultra-small Transponder (SCOUT). This new device provides secure optical communication on the battlefield, using an active mirror, to enable the rapid identification of friendly soldiers, vehicles, or aircraft.

SCOUT will be a highly versatile device. Applications extend beyond Identify Friend or Foe, to include situational awareness, covert communication and reading from remote sensors such as bio-weapon detector and motion trackers. Slightly larger than a
Military Avionics Systems, Moir
matchbox, this ultra-low power, and long range transponder will allow for ground-and air-based communication from soldier-to-soldier, vehicle-to-soldier, and vehicle-to-vehicle. Additionally, SCOUT will be an upgrade to current weapons’ laser systems so the integration of the technology will be seamless.

SCOUT’s technology is based on a modulated retro-reflector, which employs a design that combines a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) deformable mirror to modulate light with a simple optic which returns a reflected light to its point of origin. The device is enhanced by two inherent characteristics. First, unlike RF transmitters, SCOUT does not send an omni-directional signal but instead directs an optical signal along a narrow path increasing security and stealth with minimal power consumption. Second, since all optical energy comes from the source, SCOUT requires no on-board transmission power.
Full Press Release

© 2006
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