The efforts of Phase I demonstrated that a linear regulator can be modified as a class A or AB high voltage (HV) amplifier which can efficiently drive a MEMS or stacked PMN actuator. Furthermore, such an HV amplifier can be designed with low quiescent dissipation so that two ASIC drivers will be prototyped under Phase II support. Each ASIC contains 1024 HV amplifiers, featuring low static dissipation while capable of driving a 1024-actuatorMEMS deformable mirror (DM) with voltages up to 300V at frame rate of 10 kHz, or a 1024-actuator stacked PMN DM with voltages up to 100V. Each proposed amplifier unit consumes low quiescent dissipation that is at least one order of magnitude lower than what the current ASIC market provides. Such low-power, high efficiency, kilo-channel ASICs are ideal devices for developing compact DMs for NASA's future space missions of exoplanet exploration.
PMN and MEMS DMs are the two main DMs that NASA is currently considering for its space missions. The proposed two kilo-channel ASICs are ideal devices for driving these DMs stably with low power. If developed successfully, the two ASICs will be good component candidates for NASA's potential space missions such as HabEx and LUVOIR.
The ASIC for driving a MEMS DM is expected to enable DM users to produce compact kilo-actuator adaptive optics systems capable of precisely compensating for wavefront aberrations in optical systems, such as space- and ground-based telescopes, microscopy, retinal imaging, and optical communication.