NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 S2.02-8592
PHASE 1 CONTRACT NUMBER: NNX12CE60P
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Coronagraphy
PROPOSAL TITLE: Topography improvements in MEMS DMs for high-contrast, high-resolution imaging

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Boston Micromachines Corporation
30 Spinelli Place
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 1070
(617) 868-4178

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steven A Cornelissen
sac@bostonmicromachines.com
Boston Micromachines, 30 Spinelli Place
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 1046
(617) 868-4178 Extension :207

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to develop a 3064 actuator, continuous facesheet MEMS deformable mirror using a modified fabrication process that will eliminate mid-spatial frequency surface figure errors resulting from actuator "print-through" topography and stress-induced mirror scallop topography. These figure errors, which occur at spatial frequencies outside the DM control band, are the most significant technological development hurdle preventing the use of MEMS DMs in proximity glare suppression for astronomical coronagraphy. Such wavefront control devices fill a critical technology gap in NASA's vision for high-contrast, high-resolution space based imaging and spectroscopy instruments. Space-based telescopes have become indispensible in advancing the frontiers of astrophysics. Over the past decade NASA has pioneered coronagraphic instrument concepts and test beds to provide a foundation for exploring feasibility of new approaches to high-contrast imaging. From this work, NASA has identified a current technology need for compact, ultra-precise, multi-thousand actuator DM devices. Boston Micromachines Corporation has developed MEMS DMs that represents the state-of-the-art for scalable, small-stroke high-precision wavefront control. The emerging class of high-resolution DMs pioneered by the project team has already been shown to be compact, low-power, precise, and repeatable. These DMs can be currently produced with uncorrectable shape errors as small as 10nm root mean square (rms). The residual shape errors on the DM are mostly periodic and act essentially as a grating, producing diffraction spikes in the image plane. In the Phase I effort, DM fabrication process modifications were developed which will enable the manufacture of these enabling components with an unprecedented surface figure of less than 2nm rms by eliminating surface features resulting from print-through , etch access holes, and mirror attachment posts, and compensating for residual stress induced scalloping.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many applications relative to NASA where there is a need for
deformable mirrors with improved surface finish and quality over the current
state-of-the-art. NASA needs include any ground or space based telescope or
imaging system including EXCEDE, EPIC and PECO. With the topography
improvements proposed in this project, less light will be lost in the
optical path, improving the effectiveness of all applications taking
advantage of deformable mirrors. This especially needed for all high contrast imaging applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are applications relative to the requirements of government agencies and commercial markets which are in need of deformable mirrors with improved surface finish and quality over the current state-of-the-art. With these improvements, less light will be lost in the optical path, which will improve the effectiveness of all applications taking advantage of deformable mirrors. In addition, the following are specific targeted applications and how they are best suited for this development: 1)Astronomy/Surveillance: As telescopes and satellites search for more detail by collecting more light, the correction of atmospheric turbulence across the entire aperture remains important. 2)Optical communication: For long-range secure communication, large amounts of data can be sent over long distances using lasercomm systems. By improving surface finish, the amount of data transferred is increased due to enhanced error correction capabilities through the collection of more light. 3)Pulse-shaping: Pulsed lasers are used in a variety of applications from material characterization to laser marking and machining. The use of deformable mirrors allows scientists to better understand the composition of materials and allows manufacturers to make more precise, complex patterns. 4)Biological imaging: By improving the surface finish and quality, less light is scattered during transmission from the specimen to the collection device during imaging allowing for better resolution images.

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.)
Adaptive Optics
Mirrors
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)


Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12