NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 S2.05-9938
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces
PROPOSAL TITLE: RAP Figuring Slumped Mirrors to Remove Mid-Spatial Frequency Errors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
RAPT Industries, Inc.
46535 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538 - 6409
(510) 933-1001

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pradeep Subrahmanyan
46535 Fremont Blvd.
Fremont, CA 94538 - 6409
(510) 510-1001

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future X-ray telescopes require significant amounts of optical area. To accommodate this in a grazing incidence design, extremely thin mirrors are formed in concentric shell configurations. A slumping technique has been demonstrated with such thin, lightweight shells. However, the optical surface is found to contain a significant amount of mid-spatial frequency errors. Reactive Atom Plasma (RAP) is a figuring technique that does not impart mid-spatial frequencies to the optical substrate geometries and can additionally remove specific spectra from the figure error. RAP is a sub-aperture, atmospheric pressure, non-contact figuring technology that relies on a deterministic gas-phase etching of the optical surface with high material removal rates. Further, RAP has the ability to modulate tool footprint on the fly, allowing the removal of specific spatial frequencies from the error spectrum. RAP has already been demonstrated as a very credible approach for fabricating the lightweight wedges required for the assembly of such mirrors and is especially suitable for figuring extremely lightweight mirrors given the non-contact operation. In phase 1, we demonstrated the ability of the RAP process to impart minimal mid-spatial errors into the optical surface. A fully automated figuring platform with adjustable footprints is to be developed for phase 2.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Key NASA applications that could immediately use the technology are those involving high energy X-ray telescopes such as NuSTAR and IXO. The technology developed is also applicable to other NASA programs that seek to minimize payload without sacrificing sensor performance. Besides attenuating mid-spatials on such lightweight mirror segments, wedges can be etched on the back surface for assembly. The process can also be eventually used to direct-write gratings for local phase control on aspheric surfaces.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Making precision surfaces with a high aspect ratio is a common problem across optics, semiconductors, compound semiconductors, photo-voltaics etc. The high aspect ratio results from a need to reduce mass (as in the case of lightweight mirrors), improve device performance/packaging (as in semiconductors), decrease costs (as in photo-voltaics). The methods developed in Phase 1 can be applied to the rapid manufacturing of such surfaces in these other areas. RAPT Industries, Inc. has already commercialized the edge cleaning of semi-conductor wafers through a licensing arrangement with Accretech, USA.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Large Antennas and Telescopes
Photovoltaic Conversion
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26