NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 11.01-0181

PROJECT TITLE : Large Low Temperature Silicon Carbide Mirrors

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

This program will provide Silicon Carbide mirrors for use in the infrared larger, stiffer, and with better optical and thermal properties than devices used previously. These will provide the needed optical material for the Next Generation Space Telescope providing significant technical advantage over current material and fabrication techniques. The CeraformTM Silicon Carbide technology owned by Xinetics is a reaction bonded silicon carbide with a unique closed-back structure giving a mirror better than 70% lightweighted but just as stiff as solid Beryllium.

Phase I will provide low temperature response data based on of a representative-scale demonstration article, a set of designs, performance predictions and manufacturing plans for the large mirror panels. Phase II will fabricate a (nominal) 0.5 to 1 meter scale demonstration article, designed to have wall and facesheet thickness commensurate with the NGST mirror panels. Critical performance requirements of low temperature thermal response and structural response to launch loads and low level dynamic environment will be among the properties of the test article to be demonstrated. Other issues are the facility cost, environmental impact of the fabrication process, and the risk of evelopment of all manufacturing processes, including demonstration of high quality optical surfaces without print-through.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Mirrors for other low temperature applications (SIRTF) Lightweight stiff mirror applications, including high speed tip-tilt mirrors used in stressing thermal environment
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
John Wellman
Xinetics, Inc.
410 Great Road #A6
Littleton, MA 01460
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Xinetics, Inc.
410 Great Road #A6
Littleton, MA 01460