Navy Technology Transfer Navy Technology Transfer

Photonics and Sensors

Adaptive and Configurable Heat Flow Calorimeter

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

Calorimeters are used to measure the heat of chemical reaction or physical changes as well as heat capacity. Batteries can be tested in calorimeters to determine the energy density and other characteristics. However, it is difficult to measure these high energy dense systems or to measure the characteristics of complex battery cell configurations such as multiple cells or oddly sized or shaped arrangements. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has developed an adaptive heat flow calorimeter that proves flexible and repairable testing capabilities for heat generating or absorbing systems such as energy storage systems. The calorimeter includes a temperature bath adapted to maintain a fluid bath at a predetermined temperature, a containment structure for inserting into the temperature bath, heat sinks, thermal sensor assemblies, an internal containment structure, and thermal barriers between different elements of the invention to isolate different sections from each other. The thermal sensor assemblies and heat sinks are removable so it is possible to measure the heat flow into or out of the containment structure’s different section without being altered by direct thermal contact with other inner sections. Other aspects of this calorimeters design that are an improvement over previous designs include: samples can be rapidly inserted and removed, ability to obtain separate thermal measurements for different section of the sample under test, and capability to insert or substitute components with different sized element to accommodate different types or sizes of samples.


All-Reflective Wide Field of Use Imaging System

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake has developed a simple and compact solution to wide field imaging, using two mirrors to receive and direct light onto a flat detecting surface which results in a high resolution image. The device could be manufactured as a low-cost, single-piece, small injection molded plastic part with the mirror surfaces being an applied coating. In surveillance applications, an optic solution could be implemented without a typical protruding bubble common to many wide angle optics. The benefits of this technology are a large field of view (up to 120° azimuth and 52° in elevation), spectrally broad from ultraviolet to far infrared, and allowance for simultaneous high resolution and wide field of view possible with a larger unit. The device is compact and light-weight with an inexpensive manufacturing process.


Detecting Counterfeit or Defective Microelectronic Devices

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

It is increasingly important to have the ability to detect defective or counterfeit microelectronic devices in the marketplace. Defects or counterfeit devices can include parts that do not conform to their specification, are not authorized by an original equipment manufacturer, are being passed off as a new part, or have been subjected to one or more damage or stress events exceeding acceptable limits such as an electrostatic discharge event. System defect or supply chain problems are becoming more difficult given large volumes, difficulty in accessing parts in an assembly, and different sizes, shapes, and structures for mass produced parts. Thus, there is a need to improve electronic system supply chain defect detection capabilities which can be used at any stage in a supply chain. Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has developed a test system for measuring multiple test modalities to determine if a microelectronic device is defective or counterfeit. The system combines many different data sets to create a comprehensive set of data using simpler and less costly methods which provide a reliable and significantly accurate system permitting high capacity or high speed testing. It can be used to provide analysis in different locations of a supply chain for components in different part, end use, or packaging configurations.


Fiber-Optic Temperature Sensor

Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport

This patented fiber optic temperature sensor measures temperature profiles on a near-continuous basis with a spatial resolution of a half meter and a standard deviation of 0.2 °C providing temperature profile measurements critical to proper analysis of at-sea propagation for sonar performance prediction, accuracy of bathymetric surveys from wide beam swath mapping systems, and remote sensing.


Laser Detection and Ranging Stream Formatting and Processing Method

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake has developed a fast algorithm to package laser radar (LADAR) data to allow for efficient data transmission and storage as well as efficient, effective and concise processing of such LADAR data. The resulting LADAR data representation is also very general, making it well suited for multiple processing applications. The algorithm also makes very few assumptions about the architecture of a LADAR sensor such that it is very useful to all LADAR sensor designs.


Method and Apparatus for Automated Secure One-Way Data Transmission System

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

The present disclosure relates to a method and system for one-way data transmission from an open network to a closed network. A data transmission controller on an open network provides a data stream to first, second, and third transmitter nodes on the open network. The first and second transmitter nodes transmit the data stream to corresponding receiver nodes on a closed network. The third transmitter node transmits the data stream to a receiver node on the open network. Data transmission verification is performed at both the open network and the closed network.


Method for Radar Detection of Persons Wearing Wires

Naval Postgraduate School

The Naval Postgraduate School has developed a method for radar detection of persons wearing wires using radar spectra data including the vertical polarization radar cross section and the horizontal polarization radar cross section of a person. The cross sections are compared to detection thresholds to determine whether a person is wearing wires. Additional indicators can be used to further narrow detection of a person wearing wires in a group.


Miniature Directional Sound Sensor Using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems

Naval Postgraduate School

A micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) based acoustic direction finding sensor has been developed by the Naval Postgraduate School to locate sound sources. This family of sensors is intended to improve upon the size, ease of use, signal to noise ratio, and applicability of current time difference of arrival acoustic direction finding technologies. These MEMS sensors find their inspiration in the aural system of the Ormia ochracea fly, a unique organism that possesses ears that are very close together; yet are capable of precise direction finding. The fly’s ears are mechanically coupled, allowing the phase difference of an incoming sound to oscillate the eardrum system with relatively large amplitudes at the normal modes of the system. The MEMS sensor developed consists of two ‘wings’ (approximately 1mm x 1mm, 43 μm thick) that are connected by a central beam and the entire structure is anchored to the substrate using two torsional legs at the middle. The sensor was fabricated using a silicon-on-insulator wafer and trenched from the bottom in a way that allows for both rocking and bending of the wings about the central point, analogous to the Ormia orchracea. The amplitude of sensor movement in response to sound is captured using comb finger capacitors attached to the edges of the wings that feed amplified voltage readout proportional to the displacement of the sensor wings from their equilibrium position. The measured output was found to be a maximum at normal incidence and follows a cosine response as the sound source moves at an angle to the sensor. The observed cosine dependence was attributed to the interaction of sound from both top and bottom sides of the wings. The sensor is able to locate sound sources within a few degrees; though the dimensions of the sensor are nearly an order of magnitude smaller than the wavelength of sound.


New Optical Dyes Show Great Potential for All-Optical Computing, Switching, and Gyroscopes

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake chemists have invented a remarkable new chemical dye that has significant potential for military applications including anti-laser target detection and cloaking and camouflage applications via distorted light. The new dye is formulated with a benzene and nitrogen compound that boosts electrical current important for nonlinear electro-optic applications (Mach Zehnder), and multiple laser applications. In addition, the new dye absorbs at a low-light wavelength (1550 nm) which supports optical communication bands for telecommunication and encrypted communication applications by light that is for guided missiles and other applications. Traditionally, the Department of Defense uses many different technologies for guidance and targeting applications. The idea of futuristic nonlinear waveguide technologies using the speed of light has never been used before. “Blue sky” concepts are being explored by some of our most promising laboratories. For example, these dyes are used in the making of single mode polymer optical fibers that are effectively incorporated into many military technologies including fiber optic gyroscopes. The new dyes can create a nonlinear optical response in light passed through a Sagnac interferometer.


Nighttime Light Imagery Analysis and Characterization

Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport

Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport has developed a software code that analyzes images captured from satellites or airplanes of lights at nighttime and counts the number of individual light sources for varying contrast and spectral components. The program analyzes contrast differentials of red, green, and blue image subpixels both individually and collectively, creates processed images showing only lights characterized by a certain range of contrast levels, and counts the number of those sources in the image. The technology can be used to enhance the safety of deployed troops at nighttime and for mission situational awareness, enable electric utilities to provide faster power restoration from outages due to snowstorms and other natural disasters, boost the efficiency and safety of travel by car and jet, and provide worldwide data on human development—information essential for the fight against poverty, illiteracy, and reduced life expectancy.


Optical Time Domain Reflectometer Calibration Standard and Instrument

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division seeks partners to license and commercialize an optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR) calibration standard and instrument. Fiber optic cables must be tested by OTDRs for quality and inspected for potential defects which can be caused by spooling of the cable or other events. Navy researchers have developed a fiber optic cable calibration standard in combination with a device for calibrating distance and attenuation parameters of an OTDR. The attenuation and distance fiber optic cable calibration standard utilizes spooled fiber optic cable with a well-known length and well-known index of refraction assembled into a single, rack-mountable enclosure which also includes a visual inspection scope for checking fiber optic cable connectors for cleanliness. By use of this invention, well-known lengths of fiber optic cables are measured allowing for a direct comparison in units of length, rather than time. This Navy invention is calibrated against a National Institute of Standards and Technology model, an index of refraction for each of the spooled length of fiber optic cable is carefully characterized, and it allows for in-house testing thereby avoiding the shipping of expensive equipment to test centers.


Remote Environmental and Condition Monitoring System

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division

The present disclosure relates to systems and processes for environmental and condition monitoring of containerized assets. One illustrative system includes containers that are configured to enclose assets that are potentially hazardous and/or potentially sensitive to electromagnetic/radio frequency radiation or emissions. The assets may also be sensitive to various environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, shock and vibration. An exemplary system uses sensors to measure and track these environmental conditions inside a container for multiple years. An illustrative system may also use sensors to measure attributes of the asset, be configured to archive and report on the collected data, and include the ability to issue a warning when an asset may have been compromised. The collected data may be used in predictive life analyses. More particularly, the collected data may be analyzed and compared to thresholds for container assets to reach deductive or inductive conclusions about the probability of damage, maintenance needs, or replacement needs.


Silicon Nanowires in a Vertical Array With a Porous Electrode Technology Improves Improvised Explosive Device Detection

Naval Research Laboratory

The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a technology using silicon to fabricate a sensor that may revolutionize the way trace chemical detection is conducted. The Silicon Nanowires in a Vertical Array with a Porous Electrode (SiN-VAPOR) is a small, portable, lightweight, low power, low overhead sensor. The SiN-VAPOR architecture is a unique technology. It is a three-dimensional architecture which maximizes the surface area in order to maximize the sensing capabilities within the sensor. Though still in the early stages of development, the technology has demonstrated detection capability on the parts-per-billion and even parts-per-trillion level of sensitivity. Looking to the future, the goal of the SiN-VAPOR project is to have a small field-deployable distributed sensor on the same form factor as the cell phone to detect improvised explosive devices.


Smart Skin

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division has developed Smart Skin, an impact detection and remediation system that utilizes a sensing device that detects damage events related to a structure, vehicle, or other object. Damage events may include impact from a ballistic object, tampering with an object, a physical impact, or other events that may affect structural integrity or cause failure. The sensing device is in communication with a measurement system to determine impact location, severity, and outcomes. A processing system is configured to use the impact data to determine a direction of the initiation point of a ballistic causing the damage event.


Solid-State Spark Chamber for Detection of Radiation

Naval Postgraduate School

The detection of high-energy particles and ionizing radiation has been carried out with detectors that contain gases as the detecting medium, or with scintillators that convert the ionization events to light pulses, or semiconductor-based detector media. Due to the low densities of the detecting medium, gas detectors tend to have relatively large volumes to capture the radiation, and the resulting gas based detector systems are bulky and require high voltages to operate. In contrast, solids are about 1000 times denser and thus much smaller volumes are needed for capturing and detecting the radiation. These shortcomings led to the development of semiconductor based radiation detectors where ionizing radiation interaction generates about 80 e-h pairs per micron of interaction path length, which in turn generates a relatively small current. Additional support circuitry, including low-noise/high-gain amplifiers is usually required to recover the signal. In contrast, spark chambers where the detector is biased to near a trigger point, a large signal pulse can be generated when ionizing radiation strikes due to their high internal amplification of the signal. If an electronic equivalent of the spark chamber can be realized, the advantages of the small size and low power consumption of semiconductor detectors and the high gain and sensitivity of gas detectors can be combined. In this work, the Naval Postgraduate School reports on an ionizing radiation detector based on a silicon controlled switch (SCS). An SCS connected to a resistor-capacitor load was exposed to ionizing radiation resulting in the generation of a large voltage pulse for each ionization event. Alpha particles from an Am-241 source were detected with near 100% efficiency. Beta particles from a Cs-137 source were detected using a PIN diode to increase the interaction volume. The work demonstrates the use of SCS along with rest of the passive components for detection of ionizing radiation without the use of the additional signal processing electronics employed in conventional solid-state detectors. In addition, detectors made of different materials can be used to further enhance the sensitivity as well as extending detection to other types of radiation such as gamma rays.