Air Force asks industry to build OLED micro displays for military upgrades

April 1, 2019

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio — U.S. Air Force researchers are surveying U.S. companies that can build organic light emitting-diode (OLED) micro displays to help upgrade currently fielded U.S. military electronics.

Officials of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, issued a request for information (FA8650-19-S-5018) on Monday for the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Technology Market Research, Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) Microdisplay Technology Production Capability project.

OLED is a next-generation display technology that is replacing liquid crystal displays (LCD) in applications like small displays for wearable electronics, mobile micro displays, and small size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP) uses.

Air Force electro-optics experts are searching for companies able to build advanced OLED flat-panel displays for future military electronics upgrades.

OLEDs, which can be about the size of a coin, are made from thin films of organic light emitting materials that emit light when electricity is applied. They have a much simpler structure and have several advantages, compared to LCDs.

For Air Force purposes, an OLED micro display has a minimum format of 640 by 480 pixels, with and a pixel pitch no larger than 15-microns. Relevant OLEDs must qualify to function in military environments for shock and vibration, and operate in temperatures from -40 to 65 degrees Celsius.

These displays must maintain contrast ratios better than 10,000:1, and a minimum dimming range down to 0.1-foot Lamberts for white. Monochrome brightness must be better than 3,000-foot Lamberts and RGB color OLED better than 50-foot Lamberts, and the displays must be daylight-readable and maintain nighttime performance.

Technology advancements must address achieving a 2,048-by-2,048-pixel color pixel format within a 1.25-inch package that can display a minimum of 256 measurably different gray levels.

Air Force researchers also are interested in current and future manufacturing capabilities that will help to create an economically viable military and commercial supplier of military-grade OLED micro-displays.

Companies interested were asked to email their intentions to respond by 25 March 2019 to the Air Force’s Timothy Kramer at [email protected].

To respond to this request for information email 10-page unclassified white papers to Timothy Kramer at [email protected]. For questions or concerns contact Timothy Kramer by phone at (937-713-9886, or by email at [email protected].

More information is online at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!