NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 S2.01-9488
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Coronagraphy
PROPOSAL TITLE: Improved Yield, Performance and Reliability of High-Actuator-Count Deformable Mirrors

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)
Dr. Peter J. Ryan
30 Spinelli Pl
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 1070
(617) 868-4178 Extension :206

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Paul A. Bierden
30 Spinelli Place
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 1070
(617) 868-4178

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Coronagraphy 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)
The project team will conduct processing and design research aimed at improving yield, performance, and reliability of high-actuator-count micro-electro-mechanical deformable mirrors (MEMS DMs) that are essential for space-based coronograph instruments. The primary objectives of this Phase I proposal are to develop and demonstrate solutions to the two main problems that BMC has encountered in scaling up its DM design and manufacturing processes to array sizes of 4000 actuators or more: (1) keyhole voids occurring during manufacturing (reducing manufacturing yield) and (2) dielectric breakdown occurring during device operation (causing irreversible damage to the device). The technical approach will involve changes in DM processing technology and actuator geometry, and these will be validated in an abbreviated fabrication run at a MEMS foundry. The project goals are responsive to NASA Solicitation Topic S2.01, Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Coronography, which calls for research on process technology needed to improve repeatability, yield, and performance precision of high precision DMs. Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC) is currently a leading supplier of such DMs worldwide. If successful, this project will result in a modified process technology for DM production that eliminates manufacturing yield losses due to keyhole voids while improving DM surface quality. It will also result in a modified DM actuator design that is far less susceptible to operational damage due to dielectric breakdown, improving both reliability and lifetime.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The main potential NASA commercial applications which are in need of deformable mirrors with improved yield, performance and reliability over the current state-of-the-art are space-based astronomical imaging systems, such as direct imaging of exoplanets with coronagraphic telescopes. As more, larger telescopes are constructed, they will require control of light using adaptive optics over a large aperture. By improving yield, they will be able to better compensate for optical aberrations, increase overall though-put resulting from reduced diffractive losses, and simplify instrument design by eliminating the need for spatial filters in the optical path to mitigate diffractive effects. This will enhance the ability to create clear images. Also, by improving actuator yield, MEMS deformable mirrors will be able to be better serve long term missions. Finally, deformable mirrors with lower operating voltage will also enable diffraction-limited performance for many space-based optical systems such as space-based observatories, interferometric telescopes and coronagraphic instruments. The development of this deformable mirror technology will ultimately increase the capabilities of NASA missions, directly coinciding with the 2011 NASA Strategic Plan.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Small stroke, high precision deformable mirrors have commercial applications. The following applications apply to high resolution devices as well as other products produced by Boston Micromachines that benefit from new manufacturing processes developed which increase yield, performance and reliability.
Space surveillance:BMC has success developing arrays up to 4096 elements for astronomy which can be used for space-based systems. These programs are funded by Department of Defense administrations with classified agendas.
Optical communication:Lasercomm systems would benefit from this new architecture for long-range secure communication. Also, fiber optic communications can take advantage of our devices in an optical switching capacity.
Microscopy:The capabilities of non-adaptive optics-enabled Optical Coherence Tomography(OCT) and Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy(SLO) devices have reached their limits. By increasing reliability, performance and yield, the component cost for deformable mirrors will enable users to purchase high-resolution equipment for use in detecting disease. Other modalities affected include two-photon excitation fluorescence (2PEF) and coherent anti-stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS).
Pulse-Shaping:Laser science strives to create a better shaped pulse for applications such as laser marking and machining, and material ablation and characterization. The use of a high-actuator count array for these purposes will enable new science and more refined techniques.

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
Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) and smaller

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37