Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Optimizing the Design of an Integrally

Formed Optical Bench, Constructed of

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Silicon

Carbide (C/SiC)

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) is

a new, light-weight, high-strength engineering

material that features tunable mechanical and

thermal properties, in conjunction with a low cost,

rapid fabrication process that produces near net

shape parts using conventional CNC

machining/milling equipment. With regards to optics

and optical structures, the tunable properties of

C/SiC are superior to graphite/epoxy (Gr/Ep), the

state-of-the-art structural material of recent years.

The objective of the proposed investigation is to:

(1) carry out a series of detailed, high-quality tests

of the mechanical

and thermal properties of C/SiC over its full tunable

range -- from optical

grade to structural grade (i.e., from high

stiffness/high brittleness to

lower stiffness/greater ductility);

(2) confirm the test results by comparison with

earlier, less detailed tests of C/SiC by other

investigators; and

(3) optimize the design of an integrally formed

optical bench (using a finite-element computer

program) by specifying the appropriate choice of

C/SiC mechanical and thermal characteristics for

the bench's various components, namely the struts,

plates, and joints.

The bench design will have relevance to the

requirements of a variety of spacecraft, such as the

Next Generation Space Telescope and other future

space telescopes, Earth-observing satellites,

telecommunication satellites, and airborne

instrument packages.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

In addition to NASA applications such as the Next

Generation Space Telescope, the Terrestrial Planet

Finder, Space Infrared Telescope and other

missions, C/SiC, due to it's tunable properties, has

been identified to have an extremely broad market

place for commercial applications, including, but not

limited to:

telecommunications satellites, surveillance

satellites, airborne instruments and packages,

antenna systems, thermal protection systems,

engine components for automobiles, aircraft, and

rockets, bio-compatible replacement parts, etc.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Ana Cool

Schafer Corporation

26565 West Agoura Road, Suite 202

Calabasas , CA 91302

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Cheryl A. Beecher

Schafer Corporation

321 Billerica Road

Chelmsford , MA 01824