CfM Partners with the Army Research Office

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) have partnered with the Army Research Office to explore how methods developed to image strongly scattering structures can be applied to improve the design of materials with custom properties.  They will be working on the project titled "Development of Inverse Scattering - Structure Synthesis Methods: subwavelength scale imaging - metamaterial design."

The collaboration, which was signed at the UNCC on Tuesday, June 3rd, will focus on research Michael Fiddy has carried out on the further development of nonlinear inverse scattering algorithms which can be used both for imaging, as well as the design of subwavelength featured structured materials, i.e. metamaterials.

The project builds on on-going ARO-funded work to develop time (and frequency) domain inverse scattering methods for the recovery of high resolution and quantitative information about scattering targets from limited backscatter data. Direct (i.e. non-iterative) methods that are computationally efficient have been pursued and developed through funds provided by DARPA and since then ARL, to apply the frequency domain method specifically for the synthesis of structures with permittivity profiles which would lead to very low scattering cross-sections. Applications for the time domain methods have been directed towards the detection of IEDs and the latter to the fabrication of low observable structures. During these programs, they have been able to incorporate constraints on the form-factor of the target(s) to be imaged and hence equivalently the size and shape of conformal low observable structures.

In this proposal, they address the question how to develop more accurate and efficient algorithms to image with higher resolution and, correspondingly, model the composite structure of complex materials that scatter in unusual ways, such as exhibiting low or negative refractive index. They plan this to be both a theoretical and experimental project and they have the facilities to conduct both microwave and optical experiments.

The Army Research Office hopes the work will lead to a new technological breakthrough. Dr. Joseph Myers, Program Director from ARO, signed the agreement alongside UNCC's Executive Grants and Contracts Director Marie Lou Harrell.

Michael Fiddy said: "This is a significant day for us. I am excited about the opportunities of working with ARO and I am delighted that we have been able to create a potentially long term relationship with them having budgeted for up to a five year commitment."

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Army Research Office (ARO) mission is to serve as the Army's premier extramural basic research agency in the engineering, physical, information and life sciences; developing and exploiting innovative advances to insure the Nation's technological superiority.


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