NASA SBIR/STTR SUCCESS STORIES Goddard Space Flight Center 
1996 Phase II

Multi-Point In-Situ Profiling of Large Aspherics

Bauer Associates, Inc.

Wellesley, MA
 

INNOVATION
    Developed a non-interferometric, optical technique for measuring absolute aspheric shape over the full surface of large mirrors to the nanometer level, without the need for a known reference surfaces.
Color Contour Surface Map Showing Mirror Features Only a Few Nanometers in Height
Color Contour Surface Map Showing
Mirror Features Only a Few Nanometers in Height


ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    • Conceived of and proved the theory behind a new concept for optically measuring the aspheric shape of large mirror surfaces.
    • Developed a working prototype instrument under the SBIR Phase II contract.
COMMERCIALIZATION
    • Talks are ongoing with an established maker of large optics to discuss development and integration of an instrument into their fabrication and metrology facilities.
    • Achieved nanometer-class agreement between our measurements and another potential customer. Analysis indicates that our measurement error is a small fraction of a nanometer.
GOVERNMENT/SCIENCE APPLICATIONS
    • Completed a Phase III contract with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to use the prototype to measure the surface of NASA's HIREX Pathfinder mirror (a sphere with a 200 mm diameter and a 60 meter radious of curvature.)
    • Important subsystem enhancements resulted from a follow-on SBIR Phase II project, enabling measurements of millimeter-class asphericities.
    • In a second follow-on SBIR Phase II project we are in the process of integrating other metrology capabilities and a polishing capability into a single machine.
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Aerospace, Optics, Test & Measurement

Curator: SBIR Support              04/20/07