NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S2.03-8565
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Optical Systems and Fabrication/Testing/Control Technologies for EUV/Optical and IR Telescope
PROPOSAL TITLE: Rapid Fabrication of High Stability Optical Mirror Blanks

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Soter Technology, LLC
20130 Lakeview Center Plaza, Suite 400
Ashburn, VA 20147 - 5905
(571) 748-4016

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Strafford
20130 Lakeview Center Plaza, Suite 400
Ashburn, VA 20147 - 5905
(571) 748-4016

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Diana Strafford
20130 Lakeview Center Plaza, Suite 400
Ashburn, VA 20147 - 5905
(571) 748-4016

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Advanced Optical Systems and Fabrication/Testing/Control Technologies for EUV/Optical and IR Telescope 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)
Soter Technology is pleased to offer NASA a new technology for manufacturing diffraction limited visible telescope mirror blanks. This technology can support both symmetric primary mirrors and off-axis segments for segmented telescopes. The recurring fabrication cost and cycle time for these mirrors is quite low, once nonrecurring equipment (e.g. the optical test set) has been completed. For example, a 0.25 m diameter mirror with >2 KHz first mode and 19.5 kg/m2 would be fabricated in < 30 days. A 0.75 m diameter mirror with >350 Hz first mode at 21 kg/m2 would be completed in <60 days. The cost of these mirrors (especially at sizes > 1 m) depends strongly on the stiffness requirements, because stiffness drives overall mirror volume. Fabrication costs for the blank and polishing are expected to be between $0.3M/m2 and $0.4 M/m2 for sizes up to 1 m, and <$0.6 M/m2 for sizes up to 2 m. Initial FEA indicates that these mirror blanks will be more thermally stable than ULE mirrors. The goal of these technology is to produce aspheric mirror blanks which can support: - 10 nm RMS global surface figure - 5 nm RMS mid-spatial frequency errors - 1 nm RMS surface roughness This Phase I SBIR will produce and thermo optically test a 100 mm mirror, while applying heat loads representative of those seen by a mirror in a reasonable telescope shroud. In Phase II, this technology will be demonstrated by making a 0.2 m diameter diffraction limited telescope flat field telescope with a 0.2 m diameter primary mirror that is ~20 kg/m2, >400 Hz first mode, 10 nm RMS surface, and has <5 nm RMS midspatial frequency errors.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the 2010 Decadal Survey, NASA identified several needs for next generation space telescopes under TA08. Of the top technical challenges, rapid time scale development was identified as the first need, both in order to explore innovative ideas and to fit the exploration within an Explorer or a Discovery class mission. The number two need was high performance, stable, low areal density optics normal incidence optics that could be manufactured at lower cost. These three technologies allow diffraction limited visible wavelength telescope mirrors at a cost and schedule that is an order of magnitude lower than current technologies. The lower cost makes large segmented telescopes affordable. The lower cost and schedule allow a significant expansion of what can be addressed within the cost caps for Explorer and Discovery class missions. The ability to rapidly fabricate these mirrors takes a fragile, expensive, and long lead item off of the critical path and allows a significant reduction in the quality oversight associated with protecting items that have a multi-year lead time. NASA clearly needs a better solution. The goal of this program is to reduce both cost and schedule by an order of magnitude by changing the technologies used to build lightweight mirrors.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Mirrors for commercial remote sensing satellites have requirements that are very similar to NASA UVO telescope mirrors. This applies to larger systems, such as those flown by DigitalGlobe, as well as to smaller systems, such as those flown by SkyBox. For systems like these, current technology imposes costs beyond just the telescope costs. The long lead time of mirrors for telescopes leads to spiraling costs. To protect a long lead, critical path item programs add quality oversight, which can add 60% to the cost. This makes the telescope even more expensive and demands additional reliability and quality oversight. The telescope costs are particularly painful for commercial ventures that must turn a profit in order to attract investment. For example, Planetary Labs requires lightweight telescopes for asteroid surveys. These systems need to be diffraction limited and they are both cost and launch mass sensitive, since they are trying to do surveys at a significant standoff and on a limited budget.

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

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59