Silica-Silica composites, can be fabricated into low cte, lightweight, and affordable sandwich panels using unique manufacturing techniques developed at Mentis. The resulting structures would be suitable for use as mirror substrates. These mirror substrates have potential applications as components on NASA UV/Optical Telescopes. The technology is suitable for monolithic mirrors up to 8 meters and segmented mirrors that are even larger. Missions that meet these requirements would be Large UV/Optical and Habitable Exoplanet missions. The predicted light weight of the system also make the technology suitable for use as a mirror for Ultra-Stable Balloon Telescopes and Exoplanet balloon telescopes.
Within the Department of Defense there are several applications for affordable mirror structures that are lightweight and have a low cte. Two potential applications would be integration into the optics train on a missile interceptor or use as part of the Gun-launched Tactical Satellite System (GLTSS). Performance optics with a low weight are critical to both applications and the unique ability to affordably manufacture sandwich panels from the silica-silica material make this material a true contender for insertion on these systems.