NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S2.05-9001
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Optics Manufacturing and Metrology for Telescope Optical Surfaces
PROPOSAL TITLE: Application of Zeeko’s Novel Random Tool Path for Improvement of Surface PSD

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Zeeko Technologies, LLC
3495 Kent Ave. K100
West Lafayette, IN 47906 - 5391
(765) 775-1010

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Kelchner
3495 Kent Ave. K100
West Lafayette, IN 47906 - 5391
(765) 775-1010

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A well known problem in the fabrication of aspheric optical surfaces lies in surface irregularities inherent in the figuring process. Low-spatial frequency errors (figure errors) cause distortion in the system wavefront, resulting in degradation of the point spread function. Mid-spatial frequency errors cause small-angle scattering of light (flare), which reduces image contrast. High-spatial frequency errors scatter light out of the optical beam over larger angles, reducing the energy throughput in an optical system. The Zeeko Precessions polishing is a sub-aperture process that has been developed for the control of form and texture in the production of aspheric and other optical surfaces. The Precessions process is deterministic and provides dramatic reductions in production time due to its high removal rate and repeatability. Similar to other sub-aperture finishing processes, the Precessions process is prone to leave mid-spatial frequency defects on the surface. Zeeko has developed a unicursal random tool path that does not follow a regular pattern and is non-crossing. The goal of this Phase I project is to expand on promising initial results obtained by using the random tool path. The results generated by the research project will be used to demonstrate and improve the performance of the Zeeko polisher for this critical application. We propose a study that employs the polishing methodology used by Zeeko Technologies to determine whether trial procedures using the Zeeko approach can effectively correctively finish an optic without inducing unwanted frequencies onto the surface of the part.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The advancements and enhancements to polishing capability resulting from the proposed research will improve the quality and range of surfaces currently shaped by a range of processes. Such improvements benefit a number of NASA missions including The Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), TPFC (Terrestrial Planet Finder - Coronagraph), TPFI (Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer), SAFIR (Single Aperture Far-Infrared Observatory) and TMST (Thirty Meter Space Telescope) missions. Reducing the occurrence of structure that gives rise to performance-limiting scatter on polished optical surfaces is a crucial technology needed to prove the feasibility of these future missions. In addition, many ground based extremely large telescope projects including the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope, formerly the CELT California Extremely Large Telescope) and the E-ELT (European Extremely Large Telescope) could gain from the proposed research.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to NASA missions, other industries that require large high precision optical surfaces could benefit from the successful completion of this Phase I project such as the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Within this industry, next generation EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography) and the polishing of semiconductor wafers and photomask substrates could gain from the proposed research on PSD control. Also the proposed research has the potential to benefit high power laser systems in both the need to utilize laser power efficiently and to mitigate safety risks associated with even a small percentage of the laser energy propagating in the wrong direction.

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.

Optical & Photonic Materials

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56