DARPA wants razor sharp optics for satellite surveillance

Program would provide imaging of denied areas

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking to fund a new program that would develop a diffractive optics membrane and related equipment and structures for use in a geosynchronous orbit telescope.

The objective of the Membrane Optic Imager Real-time Exploitation (MOIRE) program is to provide persistent, real-time, tactical video to warfighters for a geosynchronous orbit imaging system, according to a broad agency announcement posted on FedBizOpps.

Proposals should address the following technical factors:

  • Large, low-cost, lightweight diffractive membrane optics.
  • Near real-time image stabilization and tactical geolocation knowledge.
  • A telescope design that increases spectral bandwidth.
  • Stability and dynamics of the large structure in geosynchronous orbit.
  • Target motion detection capability for highway speeds.

A 10-meter diffractive membrane is required for Phase III flight demonstration. The ultimate goal is to field an operational 20-meter system capable of imaging “denied areas.”

DARPA has scheduled a proposers’ day event for March 12 in which to present the agency’s vision, goals and project opportunities to interested bidders. The meeting will be held at the Westfields Washington Dulles Marriott in Chantilly, Va. The registration cutoff date and time is 11:00 a.m., EST, March 9.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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