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 that are launched on sounding rockets or on balloon missions. Our current capabilities using the Concept Laser M2 are a direct fit for further development of mirror substrates to be used in infrared, ultraviolet, or optical applications. A good example is the optical lens associated with missions in NASA?s Medium Class Explorers (MIDEX) TESS mission or the Gondola for High Altitude Planetary Science (GHAPS). 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 such as GrCop84 for use in rocket combustion devices. In addition, we see the potential in the use of aluminum silicon based alloys, to be used as a structural casing/jacket over a combustion device. By developing this material to have a near zero coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) or target a CTE to further augment the structural bond with a copper based combustion chamber operating at very high temperatures, we will also revolutionize the development of rocket engine technology to reduce cost for not only NASA, but also the DOD. Not only that, but applications 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 performance over traditional optical camera lenses. Our development in SLM for mirror substrate fabrication should reduce the cost in mirror fabrication for such applications.