NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-2 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)
Peter J. Ryan
30 Spinelli Place
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 1070
(617) 868-4178 Extension :206

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tracy Raymond
30 Spinelli Place
Cambridge, MA 02138 - 1070
(617) 868-4178

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

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 search for life on earth-like extrasolar planets has emerged as a compelling long-term scientific goal for NASA. That goal has inspired innovative space-based coronagraphs that aim to collect spectral data from earth-like planets orbiting stars in distant solar systems. NASA's SBIR Solicitation topic Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Coronography calls specifically for small stroke, high precision, deformable mirrors and associated driving electronics scalable to 10,000 or more actuators. This research aims to overcome the two major technical problems that affect yield and lifetime of the micro-electro-mechanical system deformable mirrors (MEMS DMs) that currently define the state of the art for high-resolution wavefront control: (1) keyhole voids occurring during manufacturing (reducing manufacturing yield) and (2) field emission damage that occurs during device operation (reducing operational lifetime). In this project, the technical solutions to these problems that were demonstrated in the Phase I project will be integrated into a full DM wafer-scale surface-micromachining batch production run to make the first 100% working 2048-element MEMS DM. As a byproduct of the process enhancements developed in Phase I research, this run will feature unprecedented surface smoothness and exceptional device reliability and lifetime in addition to high yield. The devices will be produced in a form factor that can be used with the heritage coating, packaging, and testing technologies. They will fit into existing packages and will be controllable with existing driver technology. Consequently, they will allow rapid insertion of these new high-reliability DM devices into appropriate NASA test beds.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Reliable, high precision deformable mirrors with high yield and precision and associated drive electronics has a few astronomical NASA commercial applications. The following applications apply to all Boston Micromachines Corp. (BMC) mirrors that benefit from new manufacturing processes developed which increase reliability.
Astronomy: Post applications in this sub-category can be broken into two categories: space telescopes and ground-based telescopes. In the case of space telescopes, there are a number of mission/mission concepts that require the wavefront control provided by the proposed enhanced reliability deformable mirrors. These include the Alpha Centauri Exoplanet Satellite (ACESat), Extrasolar Planet Imaging Coronograph (EPIC), Exoplanetary Circumstellar Environments and Disk Explorer (EXCEDE) and the Centaur pathfinder mission. For ground-based telescopes, BMC has already had success developing arrays up to 4096 elements for the Gemini Planet Imager and multiple high-yield smaller devices to high contrast imaging testbeds at the Space Telescope Science Institute and the University of Nice. BMC can achieve similar results for larger arrays requiring high-density electronic equipment for other new and existing installations such as the planned Extremely Large Telescopes (Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High precision deformable mirrors and associated drive electronics have multiple commercial applications. The following applications apply to products produced by Boston Micromachines that will benefit from increased yield and reliability and improved performance.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 many non-adaptive optics-enabled microscopy modalities devices have reached their limits. By increasing reliability and yield, the component cost for deformable mirrors will enable users to purchase high-resolution equipment for use in detecting disease. Modalities affected include two-photon excitation fluorescence (TPEF), second- and/or third-harmonic generation (SHG/THG), and coherent anti-stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) and super-resolution localization microscopy techniques.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 03-10-16 12:21