Prototype Operation - large prism angle

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We have fabricated a film with a larger prism angle which has increased the steering range to 25. Larger steering ranges are possible with different film construction and choice of liquid crystal.

A major goal in this prototyping project has been to reduce beam spreading by the steerer. The steerers at left are constructed in very different ways using the custom film and the same liquid crystal. The two designs have different strengths and weaknesses. The upper design has better surface quality for the grooves but requires more liquid crystal and a higher driving voltage. The lower design has great electrical performance and uses much less liquid crystal but the reduced surface smoothness introduces spatial nonuniformities in the liquid crystal volume which cause beam spreading. The next round of prototypes will involve a hybrid construction technique that combines the best features of the two designs.