R&D Projects

Optics and Accusto-Optics

The scientific team of BBT – Materials Processing, Ltd. participated as a prime- or subcontractor in a series of technological contracts focused on the development of new optical and acousto-optical components for terrestrial and space use. These projects, often with international participants, have been supported by various governement or non-government institutions and support programs.

THETIS – phase 1

Thermal hyperspectral imaging system breadboard requirement definition and design

  • Application study of hyperspectral imager for ground and space monitoring.
  • Core system based on Calomel AOTF for ultrafast spectral modulation.
  • Spectral range: 8-10 µm, Swath: 50 km @950 km GSD, spatial res. 0.15 km.
Sulphur dioxide detection by SEVIRI HSP system for volcano monitoring
Performances at 9 µm
Performances at 9 µm


Infrared Advanced Polarizer for Space and Other Applications

  • Development and testing of Calomel-based polarizers for MIR region applications.
  • Unique monocrystal system with a very high degree of polarization (ER > 1:30 000).
  • Study of new lossless and depolarization systems (scramblers).
Glan-Taylor polarizer
Polarizer breadboard assembly
Calomel polarizer prisms
Breadboard thermal-vacuum test cycling


Mid to near infrared infrared spectroscopy for improved medical diagnostics

  • Mid IR system for early cancer diagnosis and improved survival rates.
  • Bio-molecule fingerprint region study for „cancer marker“ absorption peaks.
  • Calomel AOTF system tested for >5 µm spectral range.

Website: http://minerva-project.eu/

MINERVA system
Calomel AOTF substrates
Mid-infrared Spectroscopy/Bioimaging


Mid Infrared Spectrometer by an Innovative Optical interferometer

  • Birefringent interferometer for Fourier transform (FT) spectroscopy in the mid-infrared region.
  • Based on the Calomel crystal combining high birefringence (ne-no≈0.55) with broad transparency range (0-17 µm).
  • Demonstration of FTIR spectroscopy, with a frequency resolution of 3 cm-1, as well as 2DIR spectroscopy.

Full article: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313815987_Fourier_transform_spectroscopy_in_the_vibrational_fingerprint_region_with_a_birefringent_interferometer

Calomel polished wedge
Interferometer system components
TWINS breaboarded system


Development of quality Evaluation Methods for Calomel Optical Elements

  • Development of optical evaluation setup for Calomel optics – material quality validation.
  • Full test campaign of Calomel material for use in space environment (Gamma, Shock, TV, vibrations, etc.).
  • Development and testing of space protective housing for Calomel optical elements.
Design of Calomel protective housing
Prototype housing during vibration tests
Optical evaluation setup configuration


New acousto-optical device based on Calomel for hyperspectral imaging in space applications

  • Calomel tested as a substrate for acousto-optical tunable filter for the first time.
  • Feasibility demonstration at 5 micrometer wavelength with spectral resolution of 2 cm-1.
  • Development of an innovative transducer and substrate design for effective AO matching.
Calomel AOTF breadboard
Critical Quasi-collinear Phase Matching
3D visualisation of acoustic propagation


Innovative acousto-optical systems in the Mid-infrared region

  • Testing and procurement of new polishing and lapping systems for material processing.
  • Development of new processing techniques for Calomel optical elements.
  • Design and manufacturing of new crystal grow units for mercurous chloride monocrystal cultivation.
Growing crystal of Calomel
Crystal boule before processing
Polishing jigs