Boston Micromachines Corporation, a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, today announced that it has been selected by the United States Army for a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) award through the Department of Defense. The STTR award of approximately $750,000 will allow Boston Micromachines and its research partner Boston University to advance the development of its Secure Communicating Optical Ultra-small Transponder (SCOUT).
This goal of the new device is to help save lives on the battlefield through secure optical communication using an active mirror enabling the rapid identification of friendly soldiers, vehicles, or aircraft. The initial concepts for SCOUT were developed under a Phase I STTR award and success in that effort lead to the competitive selection of Phase II funding. The technical objective of the Phase II two year project will be to develop a compact, portable, low power, light weight, and low cost modulated retro- reflecting device for free-space covert communication and remote sensor interrogation, and demonstrate its functionality.
"We are pleased that the United States Army has chosen to expand its investment in our high-performance deformable micromirror technology," said Paul Bierden, president and CEO of Boston Micromachines. "This grant will further our aim to help address an ever growing concern for our military forces."
STTR is an important small business program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small business and the nation's premier nonprofit research institutions. STTR's most important role is to foster the innovation necessary to meet the nation's scientific and technological challenges in the 21st century.