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NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts

OCCAMS: Optically Controlled and Corrected Active Meta-material Space Structures (Ultra-Lightweight Photonic Muscle Space Structures Phase II) (OCCAMS)

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Photons weigh nothing. Why must even small space telescopes have high mass? Our team has demonstrated this is not the case using a completely novel approach to producing and correcting active optical primary mirrors to be used specifically for NASA's future large space telescope missions. Unprecedented advances in nano-engineered meta-materials have produced a laser actuated liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) polymer substrate with controllable reversible bi-directional bending. Using our novel optically controlled molecular actuators allows substitution of optically induced control for rigidity and mass.

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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