Orlando Technology Manufacturing Company Earns Research Grant to Create Lenses for Advanced Laser Security Equipment

ORLANDO, Fla. — IRradiance Glass, Inc. (IRG), an Orlando-based technology manufacturer that produces highly specialized infrared glass, was recently awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant by the U.S. Department of Defense Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

David Musgraves, CEO of IRradiance Glass, said the company will use the first phase award of $150,000 to develop a chalcogenide glass optic lens for use in mid-infrared semiconductor laser systems.

Musgraves says that mid-infrared laser systems have a wide range of applications including gas leak and emissions monitoring, early cancer and disease detection, and stand-off explosive detection.

“Mid-infrared laser systems operate in a wavelength band, or “fingerprint region” where many important hydrocarbon gases absorb light,” Musgraves explained.

With specialized lenses, mid-infrared laser systems can be integrated into small, rugged spectrometers for both field and laboratory use, Musgraves said.

The chalcogenide glass optic lens IRradiance Glass is developing has other applications, including eye-safe infrared illumination for surveillance, security, high-speed imaging, and covert military operations, Musgraves added.

“Lenses for these systems do not exist commercially, and our task is to develop a prototype lens for these applications,” Musgraves said.

Chalcogenide glass optics can serve broader commercial markets such as firefighting, building inspection, and cancer detection.

“One of our primary goals is to help bring IR imaging and sensing technologies into broader commercial markets,” Musgraves said.

“This AFRL program is a perfect example of how defense technology can be leveraged into broader commercial avenues that improve civilian quality of life in addition to military readiness,” he said.

The IRradiance Glass project includes subcontract work to be performed by researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the College of Optics & Photonics – CREOL, one of the world’s foremost institutions for research and education in optical and photonic science and engineering.

Flex Optronix Technologies, an Orlando company that develops flexible photonics and electro-optic products, will participate in the project as well.

“IRG is committed to working with UCF researchers and Orlando businesses to develop Central Florida’s optics and photonics ecosystem,” Musgraves said.

“Engaging partners from academics and industry is a tremendous way to develop the next generation of scientists while improving the growth and profitability of local companies,” he added.

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 For more information media should contact 

David Musgraves, Ph.D., President and CEO, IRradiance Glass, Inc., 321-250-8200 musgraves@irradianceglass.com

Gordon Hogan, Director, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-882-1577 gordon.hogan@ucf.edu

Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications, 407-644-4142 or LvershelCo@aol.com

About IRradiance Glass Inc.   
IRradiance Glass, Inc. (IRG) is a glass manufacturing and research company, specifically focused on the compositional design and manufacture of chalcogenide glasses. Chalcogenide glasses are materials that are transparent in the infrared part of light, the way window glass is transparent to visible light.  IRG manufactures chalcogenide glasses for applications in infrared optical components and optical systems, and specialize in compositional design and process development for novel infrared glass and glass ceramic materials. The company has unique experience and expertise in the custom design of glass composition and product form, as well as the thermal, optical, and mechanical analysis of infrared-transmissive chalcogenide glasses.

About the UCF Business Incubation Program:
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth / impact enterprises.   Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped hundreds of local startup companies reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources.

With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs.  Participating companies sustain more than 3,600 local jobs and have had a total impact of $1.51B on regional sales and $2.48B on regional economic output.  During the last fiscal year, the program has returned $7.95 for every $1.00 invested in the program. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.