The Air Force is funding a joint project between Prime Photonics LC of Blacksburg, Va. and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Micro-Photonics Lab to develop a revolutionary imaging technology that will integrate nano-engineered materials directly into image sensors.

This advance is expected to dramatically improve image quality and provide extraordinary field of view. The military will apply the technology to see more clearly in cluttered environments and capture images over a wider view.

These highly-compact systems are engineered at the nano-meter scale using artificial materials to control light in ways that could not have been imagined just ten years ago. Nano-engineered materials will amplify subtle light differences so man-made objects can be identified more easily.

“This is an amazing technology that promises to find many commercial applications including cameras for cell phones and personal video recorders,” said Dr. Raymond Rumpf, vice-president and chief technology officer for Prime Research, a division of Prime Photonics, headquartered at Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center as the largest academic-based photonic sensor group in the U.S.

Professor Eric Johnson directs the Micro-Photonics Lab at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte which develops technology for high power laser diodes and novel three-dimensional micro- and nano-photonics.