NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 S4.04-9332
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Optics and Optical Telescopes (including X-ray, UV, Visual, IR)
PROPOSAL TITLE:Modeling, calibration and control for extreme-precision MEMS deformable mirrors

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Iris AO, Inc.
2680 Bancroft Way
Berkeley ,CA 94704 - 1717
(510) 849 - 2375

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael A Helmbrecht
michael.helmbrecht@irisao.com
2680, Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA  94704 -1717
(510) 849 - 2375

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Iris AO will develop electromechanical models and actuator calibration methods to enable open-loop control of MEMS deformable mirrors (DMs) with unprecedented precision. Error budget analysis will establish feasibility of open-loop operation with nanometer-scale positioning accuracy and sub-nanometer resolution and stability. Although a number of MEMS based DMs have been demonstrated for adaptive optics applications, little work has been carried out to characterize their wavefront correction ability to precisions required by NASA space telescope missions. This proposal directly addresses this issue for a class of electrostatically actuated DMs with extremely high optical quality and low voltage-to-stroke ratios. High-precision, large actuator count DMs are critical for high-contrast astrophysical imagers, including the Terrestrial Planet Finder program. Existing non-MEMS DMs that approach NASA requirements feature high actuation voltages, low actuator densities and uncertain scalability beyond a few thousand actuators. MEMS DMs offer natural scalability, but do not yet meet the stringent precision and stability requirements for space telescopes applications. Better understanding of the electromechanical behavior, positioning error sources and calibration methods for these devices is essential to understand and improve performance, bringing MEMS DMs to mission readiness.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Iris AO technology can be a key enabling component in a host of future NASA missions, including the space telescopes of the 'Origins' program including Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), Space Astronomy Far Infrared Telescope (SAFIR) , Life Finder, and Planet Imager. Other potential programs such as Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU) and ultraviolet telescopes will also require adaptive optics. Finally, ground based telescopes, like the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), Keck, and Gemini North & South, require adaptive optics to remove aberrations caused by air turbulence.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Defense Industry: In addition to NASA systems, the proposed adaptive optics technology would find immediate application in several military communications and imaging products. Systems used in military surveillance such as in the Predator drone and Global Hawk would benefit from the high-resolution, light weight, and low power consumption afforded by Iris AO's MEMS.

Biomedical: Deformable mirror technology and adaptive optics will find applitaion in retinal imaging and confocal scanning microscopes.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Optical
Ultra-High Density/Low Power


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12