Army researchers ask industry for fast LED drivers for pulsed-illumination systems

NATICK, Mass., 29 April 2013. U.S. Army researchers are reaching out to industry to find companies able to provide or develop a driver for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that significantly improves the turn-on (rise time) and turn-off (fall time) of a pulsed-illumination system.

The U.S. Army Contracting Command has issued a sources-sought notice (W911QY-13-R-0075) for the Development Of Circuitry For Improved Led Turn-On And Turn-Off program, which seeks to determine if significant improvements over an existing LED driver system are possible. The notice was released on behalf of the Army Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass.

Researchers primarily are interested in a scalable system that combines several LEDs into an LED module (luminaire), several LED modules operated by a driver circuit, and several driver circuits controlled by one external system.

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The key parameter is the turn-off time of the driver, Army researchers say. LED turn-on and turn-off are to be controlled by 5-volt TTL pulses. The driver circuitry must provide synchronized pulsing of several LEDs. These LED drivers would operate indoors in temperatures from 18 to 27 degrees Celsius.

The design must allow for scalability through the arrangement of a dozen or more LED modules assembled in a 2-D or 3-D array measuring several feet in each dimension and simultaneously driven by one or more synchronized drivers. Driver performance must be consistent and repeatable within a tight tolerance.

LED drivers must have a turn-off and turn-on time of 20 to 40 nanoseconds. Companies interested must respond no later than 24 May 2013.

For questions or concerns contact the Army's Paul Hannah by email at, or by phone at 508-233-6166. More information is online at

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