NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Optical Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:Subaperture Stitching Interferometry for Large Convex Aspheric Surfaces

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
QED Technologies, Inc.
1040 University Avenue
Rochester ,NY 14607 - 1239
(585) 256 - 6540

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul  E Murphy
1040 University Avenue
Rochester, NY  14607 -1239
(585) 256 - 6540

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The size and accuracy specifications of telescope mirrors are ever more demanding. This is particularly true for secondary mirrors, as they are convex and thus require large-aperture optics to test them. Recent NASA programs, such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), include monolithic secondary mirrors of significant size (larger than half a meter). Secondary mirrors of such large sizes are difficult and expensive to test due to the large-aperture converging and nulling optics required. Furthermore, calibration of these optics to the level required for next-generation programs is extremely challenging. Subaperture stitching has the potential to provide accurate high-resolution maps of large-aperture aspheric optics without the use of even larger aperture optics or dedicated nulls. QED's Subaperture Stitching Interferometer (SSIREG) has achieved nanometer-level accuracies on spherical optics with its novel compensation techniques. Non-null capability is enhanced since the individual subapertures have significantly less aspheric departure. However, the system is currently only capable of testing up to 280 mm optics of mild asphericity. Phase I work demonstrated that the technology is scalable to larger aperture sizes. This proposal focuses on innovations for leveraging the considerable benefits of stitching (high resolution, automatic calibration, and flexible aspheric testing) to aspheric optics. Activities will include uncertainty analyses of aspheric tests, subscale measurement demonstrations, and development of concepts for testing larger amounts of aspheric departure.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This work will significantly enhance the efficiency, capability, and flexibility of large-aperture aspheric testing, particularly for convex surfaces, but also including monolithic and segmented concave surfaces. Many NASA programs that depend on large-optics fabrication and testing would benefit. These include:

? The Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF)
? The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
? Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU) programs for space-based, large-aperture telescopes that look far into space
? Earth Science Enterprise (ESE) programs for airborne or space-based instruments that image the Earth
? Sun-Earth Connection (SEC) programs for UV & EUV imaging of the Sun and its interaction with the Solar System

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This work could benefit other industries that require large aperture, high precision, optical surfaces. These include:
? Projection lithography systems
? Commercial satellite and surveillance systems
? Large-aperture DoD applications
? Ground-based telescopes, such as:
o Thirty-meter telescope (TMT)
o Giant segmented mirror telescope (GSMT)
o Very large optical telescope (VLOT)

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52