PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 18.03-8112 (Chron: 001889 )
Ultra High-Density Deformable Mirror for Large Telescopes

NASA’s Origin Program strategic plans call for direct imaging optical telescopes to evolve from 8 to 30 to 100 meter apertures by 2025. Indirect measurements using long baseline interferometers require Angstrom level precision for long durations. High data rate communications for spatial acquisition and tracking systems require active mirrors and up-down transmission compensation. Fundamental to NASA’s vision of the future is high-density deformable mirrors which enable highly corrected optical systems and structures in space. These high-channel count deformable mirrors use very high-density actuator arrays and new 3D ceramic fabrication techniques to allow contrast enhancement for planetary imaging and correct system-wide optical errors within the telescope. The large, lightweight structures envisioned demand ultra high-density deformable mirrors. These will perform the necessary correction without sacrificing size or weight. Xinetics Photonex mirror modules have demonstrated 1 mm actuator spacing with array size of 21 x 21. Larger modules with arrays up to 128 x 128 will greatly simplify the optical systems and provide even greater capabilities. Xinetics proposes developing a 32 x 32 array of actuators with 0.5 mm spacing. This will significantly enhance the current capabilities by providing over 1.3 times as many actuators in only 75% of the size.

By pushing the actuator density to the regime of MEMS technology, the Xinetics Photonex modules will be able to give very high resolution correction while still providing a high-quality optical surface which can be polished and coated. This opens up a number of commercial markets including spaced-based imaging applications. There are a wide variety of uses within space telescope systems for such a device. Coronograph performance could be greatly enhanced by controlling stray light and removing common path errors within the system. This provides significant contrast enhancement for imaging of extrasolar planets. Other areas would be in the ophthalmic area. High density mirror arrays could be installed on Fundus cameras to aid opthamologists in diagnosing retinal disease and other problems which can be diagnosed through the study of the capillary structure in the eye. In addition, there would be applications in laser eye surgery by improving the beam quality of lasers used as scalpels

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Mark A. Ealey
Xinetics Inc.
37 MacArthur Ave
Devens , MA   01432 - 4443

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Xinetics Inc
37 MacArthur Ave
Devens , MA   01432 - 4443