Air Force Research Laboratory highlights Boulder Nonlinear Systems’ non-mechanical scanner developments in new “Launch Story”

LAFAYETTE, Colorado | March 22, 2016

A non-mechanical beam steering system developed by Boulder Nonlinear Systems (BNS) has been selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as an example of a successful small business development program. The project is highlighted in their new online showcase of successful development initiatives entitled “Launch Stories.”

The BNS Launch Story summarizes the development of a wide-angle non-mechanical beam steering system designed to steer 1550 nm light over a continuous 80° × 80° optical field of regard (FOR). The system, which was developed for AFRL under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, utilizes two core BNS technologies. Liquid crystal polarization gratings (LCPGs) provide wide-angle discrete steering while liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) optical phased arrays (OPAs) provide small-angle continuous steering with milliradian precision.

This development project began as an Air Force-sponsored Phase I SBIR in 2004, continued through Phase II development, and has been further developed under the Commercial Readiness Program. This support has been instrumental in the development of the LCPG beam steering technology, which was recently awarded the 2016 Prism Award for innovative new product in Optics and Optical Components by the international society for optics and photonics (SPIE) and Photonics Media. BNS co-invented and holds exclusive license to beam steering with LCPGs.The full Launch Story can be read here:

About Boulder Nonlinear Systems

Boulder Nonlinear Systems (BNS) is a leader in the research and development of non-mechanical beam steering innovations for practical devices and systems used by government, research and commercial applications. Since 1988, BNS and its dedicated team of scientists and engineers have specialized in the control and manipulation of optical energy. For more information visit: