The new deformable mirror design that we propose will result in a system that can meet the requirements defined by the HabEx and LUVOIR mission concepts shown in Table 1 [1, 2] while offering key advances not found in existing products. Our system architecture uniquely enables the following capabilities: 1) low voltage (less than 10V) actuation provided by charge controlled pixel actuation, 2) multiplexing of pixel control so that for an array of N2 actuated pixels, only N control voltages are required, 3) a truly continuous reflecting surface with no release etch hole structures which are present in other MEMS based system and lead to unwanted scattering of light, 4) a transparent backside electrode which allows for laser based measurement of the mirror position.
This architecture can be implemented using a manufacturing technology that is proprietary to Obsidian Sensors that we call Integrated MEMS on Glass (IMG). IMG allows for the integration of thin film transistor circuits and MEMS device features on a common glass substrate. While the DM approach that we propose is new, the IMG process technology has already been adopted by a leading manufacturing partner, operating with Gen 3.5 glass substrates (620 mm x 750 mm), to build other MEMS based products. The TRL of the IMG process is 6, as Obsidian Sensors’ main product based on the same manufacturing strategy has been demonstrated and will enter the market in 2021.
The specifications for our proposed DM system:
High precision space telescope imaging instruments such as corographs. Ground based telescope instruments to compensate for atmospheric turbulence. Space laser communication systems.
Industrial laser based machining tools. Free space laser communication systems. Instruments for ophthalmology.