NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II S2.05-8888 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023111 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optical Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Computer Controlled Optical Surfacing of Bare Beryllium Aspheric Optics

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
SSG Precision Optronics, Inc
65 Jonspin Road
Wilmington , MA   01887 - 1020
(978 ) 694 - 9991

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Jay Daniel
4040 Lakeside Drive
Richmond , CA   94806 - 1963
(510 ) 222 - 8110

Tinsley Laboratories, a subsidiary of SSG Inc., proposes a Phase 2 SBIR program to increase the efficiency of manufacturing bare Beryllium mirrors using its proprietary deterministic Computer Controlled Optical Surfacing (CCOS) process. Over the last 25 years, this process has demonstrated the capability to produce state-of-the-art aspheric optics, including extensive work with bare Beryllium aspheric reflectors. In the Phase 1 SBIR study, a process involving tool dressing assisted CCOS grinding generated material removal rates that were more linear than the standard CCOS grinding process. The Phase 2 effort proposes to investigate additional parameters of the tool assisted CCOS process with a goal of achieving >2x reduction in total processing time. Increased efficiency, and reduced costs, are key drivers as next generation astronomical and earth observing applications are being driven to larger and larger telescope apertures. Beryllium optics are a key technology for these large aperture system designs, due to the material?s high specific stiffness and aggressively lightweighting capabilities. The process optimization that we propose will make Beryllium optics more cost effective for these applications, in this way allowing system designs to benefit from the superior bulk material properties associated with the material.

The CCOS process improvements proposed here have been targeted to specifically address the grinding of bare beryllium aspheric optics. Future applications for beryllium optics have been proposed for NASA?s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). These process improvements proposed will provide direct benefits for this and similar applications, reducing mirror processing time/cost, enabling beryllium optics to be applied to a broader range of applications. More generally the process improvements proposed here will benefit CCOS processing of any hard, brittle material. This expands the benefits of the proposed work to apply to silicon optics, hard window materials like sapphire, germanium optics, and silicon carbide optics. In these material areas there are a number of NASA commercial applications where the time/cost benefit created with the technology development proposed here can create a real technology advantage.

Beryllium optics are typically used in space-based and air-based optical systems which are of interest to NASA and the DoD for astronomical observing and remote sensing of the earth. Historically, beryllium optics have been used for NASA?s Space Infared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), the DoD?s Earthwatch system, and NOAA?s GOES weather satellite. Improvements to Be mirror processing obtained in this SBIR effort will benefit the development of future space-based optical telescopes systems that are considering a Be based design.

Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34