NASA SBIR 01-II Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: S2.05-8276 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013723 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Extended range profiling

We analyze a new, noncontact approach for sensing the topography of an optic. It offers (1) sub-nanometer accuracy; (2) several mm or more of dynamic range; and (3) accommodation of large surface slopes and structure. We add autofocusing to a focusing distance measuring interferometer to keep the beam focused on the test piece. The measurement is unaffected by small autofocusing errors. Thus, the range is extended to the lens-servoing range; the servoing has loose tolerances; and the sub-nanometer accuracy is preserved. In another innovation, we add coma (by tilting the lens) to enlarge the focused spot on the test piece to be immune to surface defects. The coma is canceled on the return trip through the lens, preserving wavefront quality. These innovations can greatly improve the optical profiling of astronomical and space optics.

Our Phase I project was successful - we arrived at a workable design including mechanics, optics, actuation, and servoing architecture. In Phase II we have two main technical (and programmatic) objectives: (1) develop and demonstrate a potentially commercially viable extended range probe; and (2) use a set of those probes in a specific instrumental configuration to demonstrate explicitly the ability to perform sub-nanometer profilometry.

The potential commercial applications are in two areas. The first is for the probes themselves. Manufacturers such as Zygo, who makes the excellent laser gauge components that are key subsystems in our approach, understand that their standard focusing probes are finicky to use because of their lack of range, and especially their inability to accommodate both large standoff ranges and large incidence angle ranges. It is likely to be attractive to these manufacturers to work with Bauer to deliver hybrid systems based on their components to increase their sales. The second area of potential commercial applications is in the wider application of full surface profilometers (e.g., the four point sensor that we developed under a previous SBIR project). Such profilometers can be a powerful tool for any large or precision optics manufacturer. NASA itself, stands to benefit in both areas. The profilometry seems especially well suited to the NGST primary and secondary mirrors, while modified forms can be extremely useful for unusual mirrors such as the Constellation-X foils.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Paul Glenn
Bauer Associates, Inc.
888 Worcester Steet, Suite 30
Wellesley , MA   02482 - 3717

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Bauer Associates, Inc.
888 Worcester Steet, Suite 30
Wellesley , MA   02482 - 3717

Form Printed on 05-09-02 16:37