NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II S1.06-8922 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023077 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: UV and EUV Optics and Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE: Pixelized Device Control

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
QorTek, Inc.
2400 Reach Road, Suite 204
Williamsport , PA   17701 - 4183
(570 ) 322 - 2700

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Gareth J Knowles
2400 Reach Road. Suite 204
Williamsport , PA   17701 - 4183
(570 ) 322 - 2700

We propose to build a demonstration unit of an entirely new optics and instruments technology for space applications. Characteristics are far lower (1/10th to 1/100th) cost, larger area, lower areal density (<1/10), and higher device density count (>4') compared to current state-of-the-art technology. The demonstration focus is 20cm ? 25cm deformable (secondary or tertiary) mirrors where the ultracompact adaptive optic is achieved by a combination of the ultralightweight advanced pixelized device control system (developed and demonstrated by QorTek during Phase I) and the super-thin, super-smooth composite mirror technology (developed by Composite Mirror Applications, Inc). The conclusion of Phase II will be a product consisting of a 20cm diameter circular adaptive mirror. The mirror will incorporate a circular matrix array of 488 active (induced strain) elements. Targeted application is toward high data rate optical communications systems (NASA, DoD) and high precision space telescopes (NASA).

NASA has a pressing need for development of high data rate optical communications for future space missions. Capability is needed to support science mission data retrieval at higher rates than heretofore possible with RF systems where the optical system must have very high surface accuracy. By increasing the aperture of the transmitting telescope, the receiver aperture can be reduced to a more manageable size. The SPACE COMMUNICATIONS impact of the technology is providing low cost high-density array of actuators solution for which there currently exists no competition.

Future SPACE OPTICS will be required to be lightweight, have supersmooth surfaces, and super accurate figures as to function in deep space for long periods of time. Low-cost high-density actuator deformable mirrors provide the best means for maintaining high performance. Missions that can potentially integrate the new technology include Solar High Angular Resolution Photometric Imager, Stellar Imager Space Interferometry, and TPF.

At present, there are absolutely no such products available to the non-NASA telescope user community to correct for mirror defects in mid-range astronomy optics. The cost of adaptive optic systems currently available is prohibitive to such use. The present technology offers promise as a low cost, completely integrated solution to aberration correction for both the NASA and the non-NASA astronomy and astrophysics community.

By teaming with CMA, the QorTek/CMA team is in a position to, almost overnight, go into production of limited quantities of such self-contained atmospheric aberration correction systems. The commercial advantages in combining the inexpensive Thin Film or Circuit Board Matrix Architecture with the Composite Mirror production technology that CMA brings is that we estimate that a limited production of the fully integrated system with support software and installer support could be made available at a range of prices very attractive to the user community.

Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34