One of the major problems perceived for Trex Enterprises chemical vapor composite silicon carbide mirrors is the cost of machining, lightweighting and polishing the mirrors. Trex proposes to demonstrate a new ceramic matrix composite honeycomb panel silicon carbide that nearly eliminates the machining and lightweighting steps. Web thickness of the new material is less than 1-mm, and core geometries (pocket depth, pocket size) are easily tailored. We will also attempt to demonstrate a breakthrough in our chemical vapor deposition process that results in conventional CVC SiCTM
facesheets that are optically figured, i.e., replicated, and which require minimal polishing. We estimate that the new material will be 3-10 times lighter than bulk silicon carbide and have a net production cost on the order of $38K per square meter. Even at double this price it exceeds NASA's goal of $100K per square meter. The new product will be trademarked HoneySiCTM
. Phase I will start at TRL 2 (Technology concept) and mature to TRL 3 (Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept).