NASA SBIR 2020-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
20-2- S2.01-4661
Phase 1 Contract #:
80NSSC20C0496
Subtopic Title:
Proximity Glare Suppression for Astronomical Direct Detection of Exoplanets
Proposal Title:
Dark coatings with tailorable BRDF and thermal-emissivity for light-blocking starshade membranes

Small Business Concern

   
Firm:
          
ZeCoat Corporation
          
   
Address:
          
1230 West First Street, Granite City, IL 62040
          
   
Phone:
          
(424) 254-6002                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Principal Investigator:

   
Name:
          
David Sheikh
          
   
E-mail:
          
dsheikh@zecoat.com
          
   
Address:
          
23510 Telo Avenue, Suite 3, CA 90505 - 4053
          
   
Phone:
          
(424) 254-6002                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Business Official:

   
Name:
          
Gillian Sheikh
          
   
E-mail:
          
ggsheikh@zecoat.com
          
   
Address:
          
23510 Telo Avenue, Suite 3, CA 90505 - 4053
          
   
Phone:
          
(424) 254-6002                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Summary Details:

   
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 3
End: 4
          
          
     
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

ZeCoat Corporation will develop a roll-to-roll coating process to manufacture low reflectance coatings with high optical density for a star shade’s light blocking membrane.  The coatings will be applied to polyimide membrane surfaces such as KaptonTM or NovastratTM and will be designed to produce low reflectance surfaces with tailorable scatter properties. The coatings may also be applied in a batch coating process to substrates such as light baffles.

Low-reflectance surfaces are needed for starshade light-blocking membranes to reduce stray light resulting from out-of-plane petals, and from light sources nearly behind the telescope.   Existing darkening materials such as carbon nanotubes and columnar structures such as etched silicon, typically have poor durability, are damaged by abrasion, create particulate contamination, and the processes do not scale easily for large size optics.  In this SBIR, we will demonstrate the feasibility of creating new materials and processes that alleviate these deficiencies. 

In Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of manufacturing low reflectance coatings using our existing batch coating processes.   Coating designs were characterized for optical and thermal properties, as well as, environmental durability. 

In Phase II, we will develop a novel, roll-to-roll coating process to manufacture multi-layer optical coatings in the large quantities needed for future starshades, and to create competitively-priced light-absorbing materials for commercial sensor systems.

          
          
     
Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

This research will benefit WFIRST, HabEx, LUVOIR, LISA, future NASA starshade missions, as well as, many NASA optical sensors requiring stray light suppression, both space and ground-based.  

          
          
     
Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words):

Future commercial satellite constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink, may also benefit from this new “stealth” signature reduction technology by the reducing light pollution that can interfere with ground-based telescope observations.

          
          
     
Duration:     24
          
          

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