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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Precision Membrane Optical Shell (PMOS) Technology for Lightweight LIDAR Apertures, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Precision Membrane Optical Shell (PMOS) Technology for Lightweight LIDAR Apertures, Phase I
Precision membrane optical shell (PMOS) technology is an innovative combination of 1) ultra lightweight optically smooth membrane thin films, 2) advanced mold based fabrication techniques that transform the films into single surface load bearing structures through the introduction of optically relevant permanent curvature, and 3) discrete active boundary control that enables rigid body alignment and maintainment of optical prescriptions in face of environmental disturbances. Reflector areal densities of better than 2 kg/m2 (including alignment and figure control actuators) are projected. Current, measured surface figure is better than 1 to 3 microns rms at the 0.2m size, and we are poised for further improvements. Basic demonstrated manufacturing techniques are scaleable to 1.4m+ diameter single surface apertures. Materials are space proven, and stowage and deployment techniques exist that support eventual transition to space flight application. Mevicon Inc. and its team members, UAT, thus proposes the required further improvements of basic technology and the demonstration of applicability of Precision Membrane Optical Shell (PMOS) technology for ground and space based LIDAR receivers. The key resulting innovation is implementation of improved formation approaches to realize very low mass, low cost LIDAR apertures. Other NASA and DOD applications are expected as precision and aperture size increase. 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.