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October 22, 2012

SBG Labs, Inc. Receives Another SBIR from United States Air Force for Curved Waveguide Development

SUNNYVALE, CA — Oct. 22, 2012: SBG Labs has received another SBIR contract from the United States Air Force (USAF) to develop a display device that can be used in head mounted displays (HMDs) for simulation and training. DigiLens will develop a curved waveguide element with embedded switchable diffractive elements—the heart of the company’s switchable bragg grating (SBG) technology.

The ideal HMD for USAF simulation and training is an augmented reality display that provides symbology overlaid in the field of vision (FOV) of the trainee. This image should have a wide FOV, be readable in bright daylight conditions, offer high resolution, and be ergonomically comfortable and lightweight while providing good eye relief and wide viewing zone (eye box or exit pupil).

Conventional designs have yet to achieve these goals, but waveguide-based solutions are now being evaluated more rigorously to meet this challenge. DigiLens has developed a waveguide-based solution that embeds electrically switchable diffractive optical elements inside a thin (2mm), clear and transparent optical waveguide with images injected into the side of the waveguide. The switchable diffractive optical elements can be modulated at high frequency to extract the image and determine the FOV, resolution and image plane of the resulting image.

DigiLens has fabricated these complex integrated optical waveguide display solutions using flat waveguides. To do this, DigiLens will use Zemax optical modeling software that they have modifies to fully model the optical properties of the embedded electrically switchable diffractive optical elements. “Based on these results, we will decide whether to build 60×52 degree dual FOV display with 30-degree overlap,” said DigiLens CTO Jonathan Waldern. “The design will also feature eye limiting resolution with a focus at infinity.”

DigiLens has also teamed with Rockwell Collins, who makes the curved, domed HMD for use in the F-35 Lockheed Strike Fighter. This advanced waveguide development work is aimed at the next generation Rockwell Collins HMD for F-35.

About SBG Labs, Inc.
Located in Silicon Valley, CA, SBG Labs is the leading optical technology company that has developed a revolutionary electrically switchable holographic device called “Switchable Bragg Gratings,” hence the name SBG Labs. The electro-holographic optical technology merges breakthroughs in nanomaterial science and optical software processing by recording holographic optics into nanocomposite electro-optical material, allowing this technology to be used in many everyday products and applications.

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