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Variable Screens Selectively Shadow Bright Light Sources
August 12, 2011

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    › Applications
    › Licensing and Partnering Opportunity
    › Contact Information

Innovators at NASA's Johnson Space Center have developed a system to shadow bright light sources without darkening the entire field of view. The innovation uses an appropriately positioned charge-coupled device sensor to provide input to a liquid crystal matrix between the light source and the receptor. The liquid crystal matrix is selectively darkened in areas corresponding to bright light, shadowing the light sources from the receptor and improving overall visibility. More traditional shading solutions either partially block the field of view or darken the entire field of view. This system responds rapidly to changes in light intensity and receptor movement, darkening only the necessary areas in real time and providing active shading.


  • Effective: Increases visibility in high contrast conditions
  • Customizable: Allows a user to shadow only a portion of the field
  • Economical: Features off-the-shelf components


  • Aerospace processes
  • Commercial and military aviation
  • Navigational uses associated with commercial and recreational boating and driving
  • Industrial processes (welding and forging)
  • Consumer products (cameras, sunglasses)

Licensing and Partnering Opportunity

This technology is being made available through JSC's Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, which seeks to transfer technology into and out of NASA to benefit the space program and U.S. industry. NASA invites companies to consider licensing this technology for commercial applications.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about this technology or about NASA's technology transfer program, please contact:

Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office
NASA's Johnson Space Center
Phone: 281-483-3809
E-mail: jsc-techtran@mail.nasa.gov

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Page Last Updated: January 16th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator