NASA SBIR 2020-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary


PROPOSAL NUMBER:
 20-1- S2.03-4788
SUBTOPIC TITLE:
 Advanced Optical Systems and Fabrication/Testing/Control Technologies for EUV/Optical and IR Telescope
PROPOSAL TITLE:
 Laser Machining
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
OptiPro Systems, LLC
6368 Dean Parkway
Ontario, NY 14519
(585) 265-0160

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
James Munro
E-mail:
JMunro@optipro.com
Address:
6368 Dean Parkway Ontario, NY 14519 - 8970
Phone:
(585) 265-0160

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
Matt Carlson
E-mail:
mcarlson@optipro.com
Address:
6368 Dean Parkway Ontario, NY 14519 - 8970
Phone:
(585) 265-0160
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Several presentations were given at NASA’s 2019 Mirror Tech Days that highlighted the shortcomings of current mirror-fabrication technologies, particularly as they relate to demanding missions such as LUVOIR and HabEx.  Many of the mirror deficiencies, such as areal density, surface figure error, stiffness, and surface figure changes over temperature, can be traced – either directly or indirectly – to mirror lightweighting.  Current lightweighting processes result in pockets in the rear-side of the mirror that have abrupt stress-concentrating corners, poor front-rear symmetry, and poor material allocation in the webbing.  The proposed laser machining process allows for the fabrication of cavities within a mirror that preserves front-rear symmetry, has no corners, and has a near ideal allocation of material within the webbing.

The novel laser machining process utilizes a CO2 laser in an ablation regimen in which the focused beam strikes below the surface of the workpiece from the side (as opposed to the front or rear as is commonly done).  Material between the focused beam and the surface is ejected by the shockwave produced by the laser’s pulse, greatly increasing the amount of material removed for each pulse.  Further, the focused laser beam can be split in two and laterally separated; when pulsed the shockwave – and material removal – can bridge the gap between the focal spots and increase the removal rate further.  We project that material removal rates exceeding 80 cubic millimeters per second are possible.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

1. Lightweighting of astronomical mirrors and mirror segments.

2. Coarse grinding of optical prescriptions into the front surface of astronomical mirrors and mirror segments.

3. Coarse grinding of the rear side of astronomical mirrors and mirror segments.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

1. Grinding prescriptions into the front and rear surface of optical components 

2. Coarse grinding ceramic components to their near-net-shape.

Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/29/2020 21:01:07