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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Additive Manufacturing of Telescope Mirrors

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Additive Manufacturing of Telescope Mirrors, Phase I
This Phase 1 SBIR is to demonstrate feasibility of using selective laser melting (SLM) to produce a 3-meter symmetrical radius of curvature (ROC) isogrid mirror substrate which will significantly reduce traditional mechanical machining of the mirror surface before and after nickel plating. The technique in accomplishing this is by fabricating the lens facesheet as the top most layers in the melting process. This way, our melting technique in producing the best possible finish on the lens surface SLM can provide. If this is successful, then performing a electro-polishing of the substrate before nickel plating the lens facesheet, single point diamond turning (SPDT) is the only time it is necessary. By developing the SLM techniques having a facesheet ROC with minimum variation, and having an optimized facesheet thickness designed for additive manufacturing, this substrate can be scaled to support flight hardware designs for UVOIR mirrors. More »

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