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Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowships

Prototyping and flight qualification of high-reflectivity broadband mirror coatings for the next generation of space observatories

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Prototyping and flight qualification of high-reflectivity broadband mirror coatings for the next generation of space observatories

This proposal for the 2014 Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics aims to develop new broadband enhanced lithium fluoride protected aluminum mirror coatings with ~90% reflectivity from the far ultraviolet to the near infrared. We describe the technical and scientific justification for this work, and lay out a four-year development effort plan to raise the Technology Readiness Level of these new coatings to TRL 6, thus qualifying them for future space missions. The end product will be a fully assembled and environmentally tested telescope with new, broadband reflective coatings that can be integrated into a suborbital payload for science operations. This proposal will satisfy a priority 1 technology goal of the Cosmic Origins program, and enable a wider bandpass for the next large UV-Optical-IR observatory. This effort fulfills the goals of the RTF program by giving an early career researcher the opportunity to develop a technology with the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs, and thus develop the skills to become a PI of a future astrophysics mission.

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