NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S2.05-8494
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces
PROPOSAL TITLE: ELID Grinding of Large Aspheric Optics

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Flemming Tinker LLC
23 Soobitsky Rd
Higganum, CT 06441 - 4476
(860) 301-2372

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kai Xin
41 Indian Pipe Drive
Wynantskill, NY 12198 - 7818
(518) 618-3056

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Large aperture aspheric optics are among the most susceptible optical surfaces to the accumulation of periodic surface artifacts during fabrication. Periodic features are created during the manufacturing process and lead to significant degradation in imaging performance. Most research on the topic addresses polishing, and in particular smoothing of periodic features. Our proposal addresses preventing such surface artifacts during the generating and grinding processes. Prevention upstream in the process can lead to significant cost reductions and simplification of downstream polishing processes.
The Phase-1 effort will study of how the introduction of an ELID in-situ tool dressing technique can prevent or minimize the creation of mid and high spatial frequency surface features in the process of fabricating glass and Silicon Carbide aspheric optics and replication mandrels. We propose to construct and test an experimental platform that allows us to characterize the benefits and tune the process. We expect the result of this work to prepare the way to apply this technology to meter-class optical mirrors and replication mandrels as part of a Phase-II effort and will contribute to a strategy of cost reductions necessary for insertion of segmented aspheric and glancing incidence optics in future telescope missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Achievements in space borne astronomy made over the past four decades have been driven by many factors, which include advances in optical manufacturing. The next generation of space astronomy will require even greater technological breakthroughs to produce telescopes of far lower areal density at far lower cost per square meter. Advanced x-ray telescopes such as IXO and GenX, using nested Wolter Type 1 designs will require thousands of thin shell mirror segments produced by replication using convex mandrels. Segmented mirrors are candidate designs for the ATLAST Program, having a primary mirror diameter of 8 to 16.8 meters. Scientific instruments aboard these telescope payloads will certainly include optical components and structures that will drive further advancements in manufacturing technology. The technical effort proposed here has clear potential to benefit these and other future space astronomy programs by improving the performance and lowering the cost of precision optical components.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Glancing incidence optics are used in a variety of applications including synchrotron beam lines, extreme UV lithography, and x-ray spectroscopy for chemical analysis. The technology for producing such optics for commercial systems has not changed significantly over the past century, nor has the quality. The very few companies that have the capabilities to produce such components have caused the price to remain high as compared to standard flat or spherical components. Breakthroughs in low cost manufacturing of high quality x-ray optics will open new applications in this region of the electromagnetic spectrum.

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.)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Processing Methods
Simulation & Modeling
X-rays/Gamma Rays

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12