A holographic polymer dispersed liquid crystal (HPDLC) tunable filter exhibits switching times of no more than 20 microseconds. The HPDLC tunable filter can be utilized in a variety of applications. An HPDLC tunable filter stack can be utilized in a hyperspectral imaging system capable of spectrally multiplexing hyperspectral imaging data acquired while the hyperspectral imaging system is airborne. HPDLC tunable filter stacks can be utilized in high speed switchable optical shielding systems, for example as a coating for a visor or an aircraft canopy. These HPDLC tunable filter stacks can be fabricated using a spin coating apparatus and associated fabrication methods.
 This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-08ER86355 awarded by the Department of Energy (DOE). The government has certain rights in the invention.