NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Optical Devices for Starlight Detection and Wavefront Analysis
PROPOSAL TITLE:Adaptive Lobster-Eye Hard X-Ray Telescope

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Optics Corporation
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg 100
Torrance, CA 90501-1821
(310) 320-3088

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Victor   Grubsky
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg 100
Torrance, CA  90501-1821
(310) 320-3088

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To address NASA needs for hard X-ray telescopes for starlight detection and wavefront analysis, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop an Adjustable Lobster-Eye X-ray telescope (ALEX) based on POC's Lobster-Eye optics. This approach incorporates two important innovations: (1) new ALEX design--an adjustable array of smaller Lobster-Eye lenses for improved sensitivity, and (2) lens fabrication from two sets of iridium-coated semiconductor-grade silicon plates via POC-patented technology, satisfying the requirement for high flatness compatible with operating wavelengths. These innovations reduce weight 2-3 times compared to conventional Wolter I telescopes, increase angular resolution (8 arcseconds) and versatility, and reduce cost. In high-sensitivity mode, ALEX will have an effective collecting area of >1600 sq. cm. in the 0.25 40 keV range, and operate up to at least 80 keV; in wide-angle mode, ALEX will span a field of view >1.8 deg. In Phase I POC will demonstrate the feasibility of ALEX technology by building/testing a prototype single Lobster-Eye lens, reducing Phase II development risk. In Phase II POC will develop a fully functional prototype lens array and demonstrate its performance as a hard X-ray telescope. These results will allow NASA to build lightweight, high-performance hard X-ray telescopes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed ALEX technology will offer effective true focusing X ray optics that will have a wide range of astrophysical NASA applications. ALEX will support exploration of the structure and evolution of the Universe in the X-ray range from 10 to 40 keV with increased focusing ability and angular resolution which was never achieved before.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to its applications in X-ray astronomy, the ALEX will have applications in X-ray medical imaging, nondestructive inspection, National Accelerator experiments including neutron focusing, and other scientific, commercial, and military areas. ALEX will also have particularly high commercial potential as an innovative, highly effective, low-cost X-ray focusing antiscattering grid for mammography screening, that will allow patient irradiation to be reduced while still enabling earlier breast cancer detection.

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.

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Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19