CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC), a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) and optical modulator products for next generation optical systems, announced that it has been awarded a Phase 2.5 contract through the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) to develop optical modulator technology necessary for next generation space-based free space optical communications links. This project is a follow-on project for a previous award that proved the feasibility of this approach for use in secure asymmetric communication by doubling the size of the available link nodes. The contract totals ~$500k over 1 year.

The goal of the SBIR project is to develop a new modulating retroreflector (MRR) architecture and packaging for space-based laser communications systems. The proposed design promises inherent advantages in performance, yield and reliability compared to the current generation of MRR devices.  At the heart of this MRR design is the MEMS-based broadband optical modulator (BOM).  By integrating one or more of these modulators into a hollow corner cube retroreflector, one can use this component for point-to-point free space optical links. Manufacturing process advancements from this development will also be applicable across the BMC portfolio of optical modulation products.

“As the use of free space optical communication is growing, we are excited to continue the technology development needed by this market in general and the defense community in particular.  The success of this program will help bring a solution for point-to-point secure communication for Navy operations, as well as future government and corporate organization programs. BMC’s MEMS technology will also help reduce the cost of future hardware deployments due to their low size, weight, and power,” said Paul Bierden, president of Boston Micromachines Corporation. “We are pleased that SPAWAR continues to support our optical modulator technology and its role in the future of flight hardware.”

The award was part of the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research program. This program affords small businesses and other entities the chance to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the military. The criteria used to choose these winning proposals include technical merit and feasibility, experience, qualifications, effectiveness of the work plan and commercial potential.

About Boston Micromachines Corporation
Founded in 1999, Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC) is the leading provider of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) - based mirror products and a designer of adaptive optics instrumentation as well as advanced retinal imaging instrumentation. BMC’s modulator products offer an alternative to other intensity modulation technologies through their inherent property of being reflective, broadband and polarization insensitive. BMC’s wavefront correction devices aid in producing high resolution images by enhancing images blurred by the earth's atmosphere as well as for imaging biological tissue and the human retina. They are widely used to drive scientific discovery in astronomy, laser beam shaping, microscopy, vision science, and support a variety of defense applications. Customers include NASA, UC Berkeley, Lockheed Martin and Boston University. Located in Cambridge, MA, BMC is privately held and offers custom-designed manufacturing services in addition to its portfolio of standard deformable mirror and modulator products.  For more information on BMC, please visit

For More Information:

Michael Feinberg
Boston Micromachines Corporation
(617) 868 - 4178