A universal benefit to all applications is a reliable MEMS device that can withstand voltage spikes and environmental changes that currently still cause failure in MEMS DMs, which in turn leads to more effective correction capabilities and longer device use in the field. Also, given the higher yield, manufacturing costs can be reduced. In addition, the following hold true for each individual application: 1) Optical communication: For long-range secure communication, large amounts of data can be sent over long distances using lasercomm systems. By creating more reliable deformable mirrors, deformable mirrors can better correct for atmospheric aberrations. 2) Pulse-shaping: Pulsed lasers are used in a variety of applications from material characterization to laser marking and machining. By creating arrays with fewer failed actuators, control of the pulsed beams can be enhanced, leading to a more shaped beam. This will allow scientists to better understand the composition of materials and allow manufacturers to make more precise, complex patterns. 3) Biological imaging/ vision science: For the imaging field, mirrors become almost ineffective if actuator failure occurs due to the smaller required size of the arrays. Therefore, fewer imaging instruments will need replacement mirrors due to actuator failure. Space based astronomical imaging systems are inherently challenged by the need to achieve diffraction-limited performance with relatively lightweight optical components. Given the current constraints on fabrication methods, it is necessary to develop new methods of manufacture to increase reliability and prevent single actuator failures. These higher-quality deformable mirrors will enable diffraction-limited performance for many space-based optical systems such as space-based observatories, interferometric telescopes and coronagraphic instruments for programs such as EPIC, TPF-C, TPF-I and PECO. By providing wavefront control and correcting for static and thermally induced aberrations of larger optics in a space-based optical platform, the use of a space-qualified MEMS DM will result in a significant performance improvement. Producing a more reliable and robust MEMS DM will also have a significant benefit for non-space-based optical instruments. BMC has had success developing arrays up to 4096 elements for the Gemini Planet Imager and with further research can achieve fewer actuator failures during the manufacturing process and better reliability during use.