Design and demonstration of a versatile liquid crystal-based scanner is shown for steering a laser beam in three dimensions. The scanner consists of a unique combination of digital and analog control polarization-based beamforming optics resulting in both continuous and random fashion beam steering. The design features a novel device biasing method, large aperture beamforming optics, low electrical power consumption, and ultra-fine as well as wide angle coarse beam steering. Demonstrations include one, two and three dimensional beam steering with a maximum of 40.92° continuous scan, all at 1550 nm. The minimum scanner aperture is 1 cm diameter and uses a combination of ferroelectric and nematic liquid crystals in addition to Rutile crystal birefringent prisms.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
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