Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Publication Date



Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)

Source Publication

Proceedings of SPIE 7468, Adaptive Coded Aperture Imaging, Non-Imaging, and Unconventional Imaging Sensor Systems


This experiment explores the manufacturability of controllable Micro-electromechanical (MEMS) mirrors to direct optical signals. Design includes four separate mirrors which independently control vertical displacement, horizontal displacement, vertical pitch and horizontal pitch. Such devices could be used for a variety of applications but were specifically intended for future use in communications between optical based circuits residing on separate chips. Prototype devices were built in PolyMUMPs to test the feasibility of this process for applications such as this, including a full outgoing beam path with mirror orientations and actuation designs to accomplish this. Several elements of this outgoing beam path were successful and those which needed improvement indicate a high probability of success with limited trials needed. Improvement recommendations on currently successful design elements which could still be improved within the scope of PolyMUMPs have been identified. Originally intended only to direct the outgoing beam, this design could be used on the incoming path as well. Such a design would ensure that the receiving device only requires a target location and not that a specific incoming vector be obtained. This would thus comprise all the elements needed for a prototype proof of concept device to be built. More sophisticated fabrication processes could provide drastic improvements to both transmission and reception beam paths and potentially allow for a variety of more sophisticated designs to improve compactness, controllability, tighten tolerances on moving parts, increase mirror quality, and improved productivity of large quantities of devices.


Published version. "Microelectromechanical (MEMS) optical beam control," Proceedings of SPIE 7468, Adaptive Coded Aperture Imaging, Non-Imaging, and Unconventional Imaging Sensor Systems, 74680F (24 August 2009). DOI. © (2009) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Used with permission.

Ronald A. Coutu, Jr. was affiliated with Air Force Institute of Technology at the time of publication.

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