NASA SBIR 2018-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-1- S2.01-6583
 Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Direct Detection
 Broadband Vector Vortices for High Contrast Coronagraphy
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
BEAM Engineering for Advanced Measurements
1300 Lee Road
Orlando , FL 32810-5851
(407) 734-5222

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Roberts
1300 Lee Rd. Orlando, FL 32810 - 5851
(407) 734-5222

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Roberts
1300 Lee Rd. Orlando, FL 32810 - 5851
(407) 734-5222
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 5
Technical Abstract

Vector vortex waveplates (VVWs) have been shown to be useful for coronagraphy and other applications requiring  proximity glare suppression. BEAM Co. has been on the forefront of development of VVWs for such applications, and is well-positioned to apply past experience to extending this technology into new regions of the spectrum, including the ultraviolet, and to make it possible to achieve high contrast in coronagraphy over broader wavelength bands than has to date been possible. Materials already proven to enable proximity glare suppression in the visible are readily adaptable to the UV at least down to 300 nm wavelength, and further material development should allow glare suppression for even shorter wavelengths. Multilayer liquid crystal polymer structures are expected to allow broadening of the spectral bandwidth over which high contrast is provided from 10% of the center wavelength to at least 20% of bandwidth. The design techniques to be developed under the program for new wavelength bands, and for broader operational bandwidths, are applicable to a wide range of diffractive waveplate devices in addition to VVWs, and to additional applications, including design of diffraction gratings for spectrometry, and design of telescopes based on diffractive waveplate structures.

Potential NASA Applications

NASA applications for the results of our program include coronagraphy and other astronomical applications requiring proximity glare suppression. Other potential applications include the use of the developed structures for elements of ground-based and spaceborne telescopes for astronomical observations and for optical communications.

Potential Non-NASA Applications

Non-NASA applications include coronagraphy, spectrometry, telescope design, and optical communications.

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