We propose to use additive manufacturing (AM) to build a Coronagraph Bench engineering test unit. The versatility inherent in the 3D-printing process allows for a one-piece construction that promotes dimensional stability in dynamic thermal environments. This manufacturing technique, when used together with low expansion alloys, helps achieve the desired stability requirements.
This early-stage Innovation will be the first instrument built exclusively using AM. It will build on lessons learned from previous GSFC efforts to pioneer AM to print compact optomechanical components for higher stability, easier alignment and modularity of optical subsystems. This new manufacturing paradigm will enable new opportunities using the flexibility AM affords for building dimensionally stable light-weight structures that in the past required complex and costly machining operations. In addition, the rapid prototyping capability for proof-of-concept builds provides significant cost savings for design modifications, as for adapting this compact bench for different space platforms.More »
New manufacturing capabilities allow new instruments to be realized and constructed, allowing us to glean new knowledge which adds to our understanding. By these small candles in the darkness we illuminate little by little the dim outline that shapes the universe. Through AM, we can create new tools for discovery, ensuring stable, lighter weight structures for precision optics and sensors for future space missions.
|Organizations Performing Work
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)