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SBIR/STTR

Optical Precision Deployment Latch, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Virtually all optical information gathering instruments benefit from greater aperture. For space-based instruments whose geometries are constrained by the launch vehicle, increasing the aperture requires deployment of some aspect of the optical train and then the precise and dynamically stable latching of the deployed components into defined positions. Existing latching technology is too inaccurate, unstable, and expensive for use in many NASA missions. Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) will develop a simple, scalable latching technology by applying precision engineering approaches from previous developments that carefully manages the friction and strain energy stored internal to the latching mechanism. The result will be a small, low-cost latching system with sub-micron positional repeatability and dynamic stability. During the Phase I efforts, the PSI team will design, build, and test a latch for a cubesat-scale application. In future phases, PSI will fully qualify the device and demonstrate its performance when integrated into a complete deployable optical system More »

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Technology Maturity (TRL)

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