NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S2.05-8878
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces
PROPOSAL TITLE: Cryogenic and Vacuum Compatible Metrology Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Flexure Engineering
4423 Lehigh Road, Suite 235
College Park, MD 20740 - 3334
(410) 864-8921

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gregory A Scharfstein
1808 Berryman St.
Berkeley, CA 94703 - 1106
(410) 961-2464

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this Phase I SBIR project for NASA, Flexure Engineering of Greenbelt, MD will leverage the work we did in our current SBIR project entitled: Cryogenic Optical Metrology Through A Chamber Window by producing an orthogonal development path that will push the envelope of integrating optical metrology instrumentation to a space environment simulation facility. We plan to fully integrate a Laser Radar scanning head inside a thermal-vacuum chamber for operation in cryogenic and high vacuum conditions. Once a scanning head can function in this environment, the next development is a multi-headed scanning system inside a chamber controlled by one Laser Radar body outside the chamber. This system can potentially obtain better than five micron uncertainties with these innovations.

Other instruments will also be targeted for facility integration; thermal imaging instruments, optical performance instrumentation and other alignment/metrology instruments that complement the Laser Radar.

This innovation provides NASA and the Aerospace Community increased capabilities for the alignment and performance verification of telescope optical surfaces and telescope optical assemblies.

A key feature is that the metrology system is integrated inside the chamber providing micron-level uncertainties across large distances and of complex shapes. With the metrology system inside the chamber, the environment will be considerably easier to control and Flight Hardware can be verified in a more accurate setting (cold, vacuum, dark) than a chamber with windows and other environment-compromising heat and light leaks.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA Commercial applications include next-generation Cryogenic Telescopes (JWST, WFIRST) and future Lunar and deep space Missions. There will be many lander, rover, and, eventually manned missions to explore the ices at the Lunar poles in the coming decades. Technology must be developed to build and test these complex, dynamic systems that must comfortably operate as low as 25K (Hermite Crater on the Moon). We believe that these techniques will be a critical enabling technology for these challenging and exciting missions.

This innovation will also open the door for smaller, low-budget projects to take advantage of this risk-reducing metrology system. The modularity of the system will allow entire small and nano-satellites to be completely surveyed for alignment verification purposes throughout the integration process.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Measuring the large scale setup and configuration of manufacturing systems at the micron level at a distance without interfering with the system will be a very valuable capability. The analytical and engineering techniques developed in Phase one and two of this proposal will allow measuring devices to peer into harsh or toxic environments such as hermetically-sealed beryllium machining centers.

There are also many harsh and toxic environments in nuclear facilities, aerospace manufacturing and electronics manufacturing processes that require the precise, non-contact measurement and control of large scale systems.

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.)
3D Imaging
Actuators & Motors
Data Acquisition (see also Sensors)
Image Analysis
Interferometric (see also Analysis)
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Positioning (Attitude Determination, Location X-Y-Z)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43