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3D Printed Silicon Carbide Scalable to Meter-Class Segments for Far-Infrared Surveyor, Phase I

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Project Introduction

Using technology spun out from Sandia National Laboratories, Goodman Technologies LLC with our Small Business and Minority Institution partners (Team GTL) has demonstrated the feasibility of 3D printed metals and ceramics for low areal cost, ultra-lightweight mirrors and structures. Our technology development roadmap shows production of the first meter-class mirror segments in time for the 2020 Decadal Survey. Our 1.5-meter hexagonal silicon carbide segments will meet or exceed all NASA requirements for the primary mirror of a FIR Surveyor such as the Origins Space Telescope (OST), and may also provide a solution for the LUVOIR Surveyor. Our analysis and internal research and development show that we will achieve an areal density of 7.75 kg/m2, a cost to print of $60K/segment, and an optical surface that has nanometer-scale tolerances. Our encapsulated lattice construction provides a uniform CTE throughout the part for dimensional stability, incredible specific stiffness, and the added benefit of cryo-damping. Our process will also allow for direct embedding of electronics for active structures and segments, and the potential for actively cooling with helium for unprecedented low emissivity and thermal control. Finally, the particulate paste extrusion process may be very suitable for printing mirrors in the zero gravity of space. More »

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