NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S2.04-8758
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Optical Component Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Low Cost High Specific Stiffness Mirror Substrate

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
United Materials and Systems
13750 Old Dock Road
Orlando, FL 32828 - 9506
(321) 662-4199

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark E Tellam
13750 Old Dock Road
Orlando, FL 32828 - 9506
(407) 617-1156

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The primary purpose of this proposal is to develop and demonstrate a new technology for manufacturing an ultra-low-cost precision optical telescope mirror which can be scaled up for use in very large UV/optical and/or infrared telescopes. This proposal will demonstrate prototype manufacturing of a precision mirror in the 0.25 to 0.5 meter class, with a specific scale up roadmap to 1 to 2+ meter class system which can be rated for space flight. Material behavior, processing parameters, optical performance, and mounting techniques will be demonstrated. The potential for scale-up will be addressed from a processing and infrastructure point of view. The Phase 1 deliverable will be a 0.25 meter proof-of-concept mirror. Its optical performance assessment and all data on the processing and properties of its substrate material will be determined.

UMS proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of forming a polymer derived 'bulk ceramic' mirror substrate with a 'fully dense' optical surface. This mirror substrate with fully dense surface, will be optically figured, polished and coated with a reflective metal system typically used in a commercial terrestrial telescope.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Earth science requires modest apertures of 2 to 4 meters in size, while deep space observation requires 12 to 30 meter class segmented primary mirrors for UV/optical or infrared wavelengths and 8 to 16 meter class segmented x-ray telescope mirrors which are cost effective. X-ray telescopes require 1 to 2 meter long grazing incidence segments. UV/optical telescopes require 1 to 3 meter class mirrors. IR telescopes require 2 to 3 meter class mirrors with cryo-deformations < 100 nm rms.
Affordability or areal cost (cost per square meter of collecting aperture) rather than areal density, is probably the single most important system characteristic of these advanced optical systems. For example, both x-ray and normal incidence space mirrors currently cost $3M to $4M per square meter of optical surface area. This research effort seeks a cost reduction for precision optical components by 20X to 100X, to less than $100K per square meter.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Mirror technology developed in this project will have many important applications in addition to light weight, low cost, large aperture space born telescopes. Because the mirrors will be constructed from ceramic, they will be thermally stable even at high temperatures, which will make them attractive for high power laser applications. Their low mass may make them attractive for use as solar power collectors (heliostats).
To produce a custom, cavity back glass or ceramic mirror is currently cost prohibitive. The mirror technology developed in this proposal is far cheaper than current ceramic technologies, producing components lighter than glass. It also lends itself to mass production which will further reduce cost over custom made mirrors.
"According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were at least 500 companies engaged in the manufacturing of optical instruments and lenses in the late 1990s. The industry employed approximately 22,100 persons, and generated about $3.74 billion in shipments in 2000."

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Actuators & Motors
Biological (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Destructive Testing
Health Monitoring & Sensing (see also Sensors)
Lasers (Machining/Materials Processing)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller
Microfabrication (and smaller; see also Electronics; Mechanical Systems; Photonics)
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Processing Methods
Simulation & Modeling
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Telescope Arrays
Terahertz (Sub-millimeter)
Waveguides/Optical Fiber (see also Optics)
X-rays/Gamma Rays

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12