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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Fabrication Process and Electronics Development for Scaling Segmented MEMS DMs

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

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

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.

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