UltraSurf and in-situ machine metrology will be key technologies for advancing the state of the art for accurate and cost effective fabrication of many current and future NASA optical components. These applications may include the measurement of forming mandrels used to produce multiple segmented shell mirrors for the International X-Ray Observatory (IXO) and (NXGO). The aspheric and freeform optical surfaces required by LISA and WFIRST will also benefit from the metrology advances made with this endeavor. UltraSurf and in-situ metrology would also be very useful for measuring of the segmented types of telescope systems such as the Advanced Technology Large Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST). As NASA space exploration requirements evolve so too will the need for better quality optical elements. The continued advancement of UltraSurf and the available probe solutions will be critical in keeping up with these requirements. As OptiPro (a U.S. machine builder) through this SBIR effort develops new metrology solutions there is the added advantage that many companies not just OptiPro, have the opportunity to benefit from a successful project. This has been well proven in our Navy Phase III SBIR commercialization results.
Since 1989 OptiPro has developed and refined conceptual technologies into robust deterministic machines and processes for the optical fabrication industry. Non-NASA commercial applications include the fabrication of flats, spheres, aspheres, and complex conformal shapes such as aerodynamic ogive domes. Commercialization of these technologies has developed into very cost effective solutions. UltraSurf has excellent potential for applications where mid-spatial-frequency and slope surface errors are an issue such as EUV lithography. Another application is for laser amplifiers, such as the Inertial Confinement Fusion National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, at the University of Rochester. For these types of applications, laser damage threshold and irradiance distribution are critical and therefore mid-spatial frequency errors need to be minimized after the polishing stage. UltraSurf advances will be critical for measuring these errors. In addition there are many new military optical systems requiring conformal and freeform shaped optics which also need these advancing metrology capabilities. UltraSurf has also proven invaluable for the non-contact measurement of stainless steel injection mold inserts for military optical visors.