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Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship

High Broadband Reflectivity Mirror Coatings for the Next Generation ofSpace Observatories

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

High Broadband Reflectivity Mirror Coatings for the Next Generation ofSpace Observatories
This Development Phase proposal for the 2014 Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics aims to develop new broadband enhanced lithium fluoride (eLiF) protected aluminum mirror coatings with > 85% 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. This RTF will also provide essential measurements of fluoride-protected aluminum coatings to determine their compatibility with high contrast imaging systems for the direct imaging of exoplanets. We present results acquired during the concept study phase that demonstrate a new record reflectivity at O VI in the Lyman UV, and a protected eLiF variant that initial testing indicates is not sensitive to moisture exposure. 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. More »

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