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SBIR/STTR

Fabrication Process and Electronics Development for Scaling Segmented MEMS DMs, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology has the potential to create deformable mirrors (DM) with more than 10^4 actuators that have size, weight, and power specifications that are far lower than conventional piezoelectric and electrostrictive DMs. However, considerable development is necessary to take state-of-the-art MEMS DMs today and make them flight-like. This Phase II SBIR proposal addresses two critical areas in MEMS DM development towards the goal of developing flight-like hardware. Namely, Phase II research will further develop Iris AO's proven hybrid MEMS DM technology to: 1) develop and demonstrate wafer-scale assembly of deformable mirror arrays and 2) increase drive electronics resolution to >=18 bits using hardware-controlled super-resolution oversampling techniques. The increased spatial and actuator resolution afforded by the development here will enable picometer resolution DMs required to reach 10^10 contrast levels necessary for direct detection of Earth-sized terrestrial planets. More »

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