NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescopes
PROPOSAL TITLE:An Instrument For Inspecting Aspheric Optical Surfaces and Components

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MetroLaser, Inc.
2572 White Road
Irvine, CA 92614-6236
(949) 553-0688

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. James  D.  Trolinger
2572 White Road
Irvine, CA  92614-6236
(949) 553-0688

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This is a Phase I proposal to develop an extremely versatile optical inspection tool for determining the optical figure of aspheric optical components, such as test objects, aspheric mirrors, segment mirrors, and optical components that are not easily inspected with conventional interferometry. Modern optical design and manufacturing procedures have begun using such components more and more in routine applications to improve optical system capability. Since the optical tolerances achieved in the manufacture of such components have an important bearing on the performance capabilities of the systems that employ them, instrumentation and techniques for precision metrology are vital for quality assurance. Inspection tools required for these types of optical components have lagged the capability to manufacture them. The proposed work will demonstrate a technique for full aperture precision metrology of such optical components and is anticipated to yield instrument designs that incorporate an extremely robust, reliable, and accurate wavefront sensor for precision metrology of a transmitted or reflected wavefront, together with a projection system that covers the full aperture. The proposed wavefront sensor comprises a unique combination of digital holographic interferometry, Hartmann wavefront sensing, and adaptive optics that results in an extremely flexible tool. For the Phase I study, we propose to employ an existing wavefront sensor instrument to accelerate progress towards production of useful experimental data from tests conducted on existing optical elements.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The ability to evaluate modern optical components to high tolerances is anticipated to provide new standards for manufacturing and quality control. This development will, therefore, have a corresponding and widespread impact on the performance capabilities of the many NASA systems that incorporate these components. The improvements gained by these measures may also provide substantial cost benefits compared to alternative, more complex, and expensive solutions. The versatile optical inspection system proposed here would be extremely valuable to NASA in manufacturing and acceptance testing of a wide variety of optics.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This program can provide a unique system for high accuracy testing of test objects and optics vital to a variety of military seeker and sensor systems. Both the US Army and the US Navy have requirements to develop metrology procedures for a new generation of infrared aspheric transmitting test objects with aerodynamic shapes that can depart from spherical by as much as millimeters. Further potential applications and commercial possibilities are predicted for systems employed in security monitoring, marine observation, and metrology.

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.


Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19