Electrostatic Membrane Deformable Mirrors (DM) developed using silicon bulk micro-machining techniques offer the potential of providing low-cost, compact wavefront control systems for diverse optical system applications. The basic approach to electrostatic mirror construction, using bulk micro-machining, is relatively simple, allowing for custom designs to satisfy wavefront control requirements for most optical systems. An electrostatic DM consists of a thin membrane suspended over an actuator pad array that is connected to a high-voltage driver. Voltages applied to the array elements deflect the membrane to provide an optical surface capable of correcting for measured optical aberrations in a given system. The actuator voltages required to correct a given aberration are determined from wavefront sensor measurements and the mirror influence functions and/or through the minimization of measured error in the closed-loop control system. Electrostatic membrane DM designs are derived from well-known principles of membrane mechanics and electrostatics, the desired optical wavefront control requirements, and the current limitations of mirror fabrication and actuator drive electronics. In this paper, we discuss the electrostatic DM design process in some detail and present modeling results illustrating the performance of specific designs in terms of their ability to correct Zernike optical aberrations.
Law enforcement and military forces are often faced with situations requiring less-than-lethal response options. Low- power, eye-safe laser illuminators have been shown to be effective, non-lethal weapons for a variety of law enforcement and other-than-war military applications. Through the effects of illumination, glare, and psychological impact; lasers can provide unequivocal warning, threat assessment based on reaction to the warning, hesitation, distraction, and reductions in combat and functional effectiveness. This paper discusses ongoing research and development by Science and Engineering Associates into laser illuminator concepts for civilian and military use. Topics include fundamental design and safety issues, laser diode requirements, and laser illuminator concepts, including a grenade shell laser system that converts a standard 40-mm grenade launcher into a laser illuminator.