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SBIR/STTR

Extremely Lightweight Segmented Membrane Optical Shell Fabrication Technology for Future IR to Optical Telescope, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Extremely Lightweight Segmented Membrane Optical Shell Fabrication Technology for Future IR to Optical Telescope, Phase I
We propose that the Membrane Optical Shell Technology (MOST) substrate fabrication approach be extended with a specific focus on advanced off-axis very light weight, cost advantaged, optical surfaces for future telescope applications. The approach is based on a proven combination of 1) continuous thin film materials with space heritage, 2) inherent low areal density (40 to 200g/m2) surfaces, 3) cost and time advantaged fabrication techniques that 4) impart structural shell stiffness through the induction of permanent curvature, yielding 5) interferometrically confirmed optically sufficient low surface roughness and thickness variation and rapidly improving global figure metrics, 6) volume efficient stacking or compact roll stowage and robust passive self deployment, and when needed, 7) compatibility with boundary control/adjustment to provide initial phasing and reject environmental disturbances. In the PI, building on our base of past research, we will demonstrate ability to directly fabricate the desired off axis segmented surfaces, continue to improve global figure metrics, address potential structural load survival and dynamic concerns, and begin to address other key issues critical toward improving TRL levels. This will prepare the way for a detailed PII ground demonstration and adoption into a flight program which is a key step in any realistic commercialization plan for space hardware. 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.

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