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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Highly Adaptive Primary Mirror Having Embedded Actuators, Sensors, and Neural Control, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Highly Adaptive Primary Mirror Having Embedded Actuators, Sensors, and Neural Control, Phase I
The NASA Space Science Enterprise is studying various future missions to explore the Evolution of the Universe (SEU). For example, normal incidence telescopes with a primary optic of 40 m are being studied for deployment beyond geo-synchronous orbits (e.g. L2) and requiring operation to 4K. These missions will require optics of unprecedented optical tolerances to achieve scientific success and extremely low weight in order to be deployed. The optics will most certainly be adaptive in order to obtain initial optical figure and eliminate aberrations due to thermal or other environmentally induced drift. New actuation and control technology will be required to obtain areal densities well below that of 15kg/m2 currently being considered for the Webb Telescope. Light weight CERAFORM silicon carbide based optics with embedded actuation and sensing is the approach taken in this proposal for making a large primary segmented mirror. In addition, by using local mirror sensing and neural control technology, the computational complexity associated with an extremely high actuation count in a large optic system can be greatly reduced. These two technologies currently being developed with Xinetics will be integrated to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach to meet NASA goals. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.