NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 E3.02-9771
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Technology Telescope for Balloon Mission
PROPOSAL TITLE: Affordable, Ultra-stable CVC SiC UVOIR Telescope for BENI Mission

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Trex Enterprises Corporation
10455 Pacific Center Court
San Diego, CA 92121 - 4339
(858) 646-5300

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Bill Goodman
2701 Pan American Fwy NE, Suite C
Albuquerque, NM 87107 - 1647
(858) 437-3899

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ms. Deborah Doyle
10455 Pacific Center Court
San Diego, CA 92121 - 4339
(858) 646-5462

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Advanced Technology Telescope for Balloon Mission is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Working with our System Integrator partner (ITT-Exelis) and Richard Lyon (NASA/GSFC Principal Investigator Compact Achromatic Visible Nulling Coronagraph Technology Maturation) and his telescope expert Lee Feinberg, Trex will perform a preliminary design of a 1-meter aperture, ultrastable, UVOIR telescope made using Trex Chemical Vapor Composite Silicon Carbide (CVC SiC™). The highly athermal silicon carbide telescope provides an affordable solution for the Balloon Exoplanet Nulling Interferometer (BENI) Mission to qualify the VNC, with traceability to the requirements of the ATLAST observatory.
Trex also proposes to demonstrate replicated, powered CVC SiC™ substrates using a new, polishable graphite mandrel material which allows the release of our CVC SiC™ deposit from the mandrel with a spectral finish. The new process eliminates rough and fine grinding of the optical surface, which is directly ready for fine lapping and polishing. The payoff will be at least a factor of 2X reduction in the areal cost of high performance CVC SiC™ mirrors, with an associated reduction in schedule on the order of 6-months. Using meniscus mirror designs for lightweighted mirrors in the telescope, rather than a web-based isogrid design, will also reduce the cost and schedule for CVC SiC™ mirrors, while not sacrificing weight or stiffness.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Astro 2010 clearly states the need for large aperture, lightweight mirrors for future UV/Optical telescopes, and recommends NASA invest in this need during the next 5-years. Table S2-C2 of the 2012 National Research Council report entitled "NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA's Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space", calls for a new generation of astronomical telescopes that enable discovery of habitable planets, facilitate advances in solar physics, and enable the study of faint structures around bright objects by developing high-contrast imaging and spectroscopic technologies to provide unprecedented sensitivity, field of view, and spectroscopy of faint objects. The common need cited is a mirror technology that is lightweight, dimensionally stable, high performance, and above all else, cost effective. One of these potential future observatory missions is the Advanced Technology Large-Aperture Space Telescope (ATLAST) (Marc Postman, SPIE Journal of Optical Engineering, 51(1), 011007, January 2012).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Low cost, lightweight, dimensionally stable SiC mirrors have use in complex telescopes for Astronomy, Imaging and Remote Sensing applications, including optical instruments/telescopes which enable imaging, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions for police and paramilitary units, fire fighters, power and pipeline monitoring, search and rescue, atmospheric and ocean monitoring, imagery and mapping for resource management, and disaster relief and communications. The dual-use nature of complex telescopes will bring affordability to national defense missions as well.

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.)
Telescope Arrays

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