Aerospace + Defense

In space, in the air, or on the battlefield, modern platforms increasingly rely on optical technologies for visualization, sensing, communication, and engagement.

Non-mechanical Beam Steering and Refocusing that is Robust in Harsh Environments

Trends in aerospace are increasingly pushing to smaller and lighter platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and CubeSats. This presents a challenge for steered optical platforms, which have traditionally relied on motorized gimbals to point optical sensors and laser designators. These motorized mechanisms tend to be bulky and power-hungry to provide the necessary stability, with moving surfaces that can wear down or be fouled by sand and grit. 

In contrast, BNS has developed a fully non-mechanical, digital beam steering technology using liquid crystal polarization gratings that is capable of steering large optical apertures over large angles with low size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements. With no moving parts, the technology is robust to mechanical shock and vibration, wear, and fouling. For space applications, the technology eliminates inertial changes associated with moving massive parts and is robust to prolonged exposure to gamma radiation.

Lance Hosting is a Senior Cleanroom Technician at Boulder Nonlinear Systems.

Our specialty lies in taking these advanced liquid crystal technologies out of the laboratory and into customer-driven, field-tested prototypes.

Lance Hosting

Senior Cleanroom Technician

Light Control Technology

BNS specializes in two core technologies to develop devices and systems for a variety of research and industrial applications in the defense, biomedical, automotive, aerospace, and basic science fields.

Non-mechanical Beam Steering Spatial Light Modulators