NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:High Contrast Astrophysical Imaging
PROPOSAL TITLE:High Resolution Silicon Deformable Mirrors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Boston Micromachines Corporation
108 Water Street
Watertown ,MA 02472 - 4696
(617) 926 - 8796

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul   Bierden
108 Water Street
Watertown, MA  02472 -4696
(617) 926 - 8796

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In this proposal we describe a plan to build a deformable mirror suitable for space-based operation in systems for high-resolution imaging. The prototype DM will be fabricated through a combination of micromachining and wafer bonding steps that were all proven feasible in the Phase I project. The device will rely on single crystal silicon for all structural components, promising unprecedented thermal stability and optical quality. A principal goal of this Phase II SBIR project will be to fabricate a high precision microelectromechanical (MEMS) deformable mirror with a 60mm optical diameter, having surface roughness less than 5nm RMS. The mirror will be supported by 1600 independently controllable electrostatic actuators, each capable of up to 1mm of stroke with sub-nanometer repeatability. The device will become an enabling component for applications including space-based imaging, optical communication, and lithography.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed research activities would support all of NASA's planned large aperture missions. In these missions the inherent figure errors and compliance of lightweight primary mirrors will reduce the system's passive performance. It is expected that larger, lighter weight systems will require adaptive systems to achieve acceptable optical performance. Active and adaptive systems will be used to measure and correct wavefront errors for large aperture telescopes and control dynamic changes in the optical structure. Lightweight, low-power deformable mirror technology such as that described in this proposal will be required for several SSE and ESE roadmap missions requiring optical large apertures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The devices that are proposed in this program could be used for any application where dynamic wavefront correction would be required and the current technology (macro-scale DM or liquid crystal SLMs) is limited, either by cost, size, speed, or optical characteristics. Examples of such applications are inter-cavity laser correction, laser welding, long range laser communication and biomedical imaging. Each of these applications, if successfully demonstrated, would lead to a large commercial market for the proposed silicon deformable mirrors.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52