We recognize that NASA, even as leaders in the application of AM across the aerospace industry, is likely to take a conservative approach to adopting flight-rated SLM components. However, we do believe there are several near-term applications. For example, additive manufactured mirrors using the techniques we will develop in Phase 1, can be directly applied to relatively small aperture mirrors which are launch on sounding rockets. Our current capabilities using the Concept Laser M2 are a direct fit for further development of mirror substrates to be used in infrared or ultraviolet or optical applications. A good example is the optical lens associated with missions in the Medium Class Explorers (MIDEX) TESS mission. In addition, continued mirror development and mounting schemes, we can see the development of larger segmented mirror development for launch on the future Space Launch System.
ASTS plans to develop processes and techniques using SLM on materials such as SS316L, Inconel 718, Ti6Al4V, and copper based materials used for rocket combustion devices. In addition, we see potential in the use of aluminum silicon based alloys, which can be used as a mirror substrate for nickel plating. With this as an option, application for optical in infrared mirrors could be developed as a low cost solution for utilization in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for a variety of functions such as in the agriculture industry for climate and soil moisture monitoring, and in the transportation industry for delivery products or packages to residential addresses. Technological advances in mirror integration have developed in in performance over traditional optical camera lenses. Our development in SLM for mirror substrate fabrication should reduce the cost in mirror fabrication for such applications.