News

IRflex Signed New STTR contract with NAVAIR to Developing an “Additive Manufacturing of Inorganic Transparent Materials for Advanced Optics”

On October 21, 2019, Teamed with University of Central Florida, IRflex Corporation signed another STTR Phase I contract with NAVAIR for developing an “Additive Manufacturing of Inorganic Transparent Materials for Advanced Optics”.

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the industrial production name for 3D printing, a computer controlled process that creates three-dimensional objects by depositing materials, usually in layers. The benefits of AM are widely realized for structural systems; however, work on printing optical systems is still in its comparative nascency. The majority of the work has been primarily focused on polymers. There are broad arrays of weapon and surveillance systems that utilize high performance optics. Many of these applications require greater wavelength transmission range, hardness, and temperature stability compared to polymers. The potential for utilizing AM technology to print glass lenses will provide the ability to 1) deposit net shape or near net-shape free-form optics, 2) locally adjust the index of refraction and other optical properties such as dispersion, 3) create high precision low thermal expansion meteorological frames that can form the basis for refractive optics, and 4) repair existing optical systems.

The objective of this STTR Phase I project is to develop an Additive Manufacturing (AM) process for depositing inorganic glasses with sufficient quality and precision for free-form and gradient index optics.

IRflex wins SBIR Phase I Project to develop anti-reflective surface for infrared optical fibers endfaces

On October 8, 2019, IRflex Corporation signed a contract with the Department of Defense after winning the Phase I project N192-067 proposal to develop an anti-reflective surface for use on bare and connectorized infrared fiber optical cable assembly endfaces.

The project requests that the anti-reflective surface should be realizable on non-silica optical fiber including indium fluoride, chalcogenide, tellurite, and ZBLAN. Fiber optic cables should be designed to assemble with SubMiniature Version A (SMA) 905 connectors and be compatible with short and mid-wave laser sources for the wavelength interest region of 1.5 to 5 micron. The fiber optic cable assembly must pass thermal, vibration, and humidity environmental testing. The end result of this project is an anti-reflective surface with an improved damage threshold for high power application that can be manufactured.

IRflex Corporation manufactures the mid-infrared fibers based on extra high purity chalcogenide glass, whose proprietary fiber technology and knowhow support the project to design, model, and demonstrate a proof of concept of anti-reflective surface for our mid-infrared optical fibers and cables.