ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester-based Lumetrics has received a Small Business Innovation Research Contract from the U.S. Army Research Lab.
Lumetrics President and CEO John Hart explained what the contract calls for and the significance for the company in our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.
“We started this about four years ago,” Hart said. “In July of this year, we signed the contract with the Army. It’s going to add between six and 10 jobs to the company. We’re expanding next door and building out some additional labs. It’s really a culmination of a lot of the science that our engineers and scientists have here on some really novel capability.”
The benefit of Hart’s newly-founded project comes from its ability to deflect light better than traditional methods which in return offers more usability.
“Basically, what we can do is we can send light through different wavelengths without touching a sample or a lamination of glass and plastic, and from those different wavelengths we can both identify a layer of thicknesses and tell you what each layer is made out of, which is very novel and we now have two patents that have been issued and a third patent that’s about to issue.”
Hart related an experience at this past weekend’s Buffalo Bills game to explain in greater detail the expectations for the new contract.
“I was at the Bills game last weekend and as I walked down Abbott Road there was the Erie County S.W.A.T. team with their vehicles, their armored vehicles that came back from deployment. Every one of the windows in those vehicles has what’s called delamination and it’s easy to see around the edges of the windows,” Hart said. “The glass and the plastic separate and it’s a serious problem with the Army vehicles. It’s serious also with Naval ships as well. So we figured out how we can determine when transparent armor — it’s really thick, multi-layer bulletproof glass — can determine when it’s going to fail. Before it fails and before it puts the soldiers at risk in the field we can tell the Army and measure and replace the transparent armor.”
Lumetrics is successfully leveraging Rochester’s abundant optics, photonics, and imaging assets to support its growth. “We’ve got over 120 companies in Rochester,” Hart said. “A lot of them are small and medium-sized companies. We have the talent here — everything from Monroe Community College optical technicians all the way up to RIT or University of Rochester Ph.D. scientists.”
“So certainly the people and the talent are here. In our business, because we’re more of a photonic business — so we marry mechanical parts and electronics and optics together — we probably spend 60 percent of every unit cost to build it making machine parts. So Rochester is well-known for machining. We have people here. We have test capability here. We have the ability to actually take systems out to customers to try them out in their facilities. So it’s a complete infrastructure for companies like us to be able to thrive.”