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Tanner Research is developing state-of-the-art analog circuitry that implements double-exposure heterodyne interferometry, a technique that can precisely, yet nondestructively, measure surface deformation and strain. The key features are (1) the computations can be made on a local, per-pixel basis, and (2) integration over time can improve measurement accuracy.

We have already demonstrated the promise of our approach by designing, fabricating, and testing circuits that compute the fundamental components of the algorithm.

Because we are developing an integrated circuit that implements the bulk of the computations, the resulting technology will be ideal for space-based applications, where power, size, and mass are at a premium. In fact, the initial application we are targeting is space-based optical metrology. Another advantage is that an analog chip can be readily scaled to meet the needs of future processing requirements for large pixel counts (necessary for high spatial resolution) and high frame rates (necessary for closed-loop control or measurement of quickly changing deformation). Such scalability, combined with the technology's affordability, will open up revolutionary terrestrial capabilities as well.

This research has been sponsored by the U.S. Air Force under the SBIR program.



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