The combination of multiple surface functionality into a single optical surface has been used for years as a method of improving system performance while reducing component count and system integration complexity. Further developments of this technology via combination of a diffraction grating and a freeform surface are explored. Multiple methods of combination are investigated. These include holographically recording a diffraction grating on a freeform substrate and by recording both the diffraction grating and freeform surface as holograms on a single substrate.
Tighter packaging constraints and performance requirements on exploratory missions such as LUVOIR are driving the need for more efficient and compact designs. Applying aberration corrected holographic gratings to a freeform surface has paradigm-shifting potential for these instruments with the potential for higher performance and throughput using fewer components.
Both efficiency and stray light are critical issues for upcoming missions. SSI proposes the use of a low scatter optical blazing technique in combination with a freeform optical surface as a means of supporting demanding spectral sensing requirements.
These innovations will significantly improve performance of next generation spectral sensing technologies by reducing system size and weight while improving imaging performance, signal-to-noise, energy collection, stray light and field of view.
NASA projects are dependent on optical systems and are constantly striving for improved throughput and reduced payload scale. The technology proposed is a direct solution for optimization to both of these considerations. Current and future applications include:
-LUVOIR and other Decadal Survey Missions
-CubeSat optical payloads
-Exo-Planet exploratory missions
-Space Life and Physical Sciences Research & Applications
-Future NASA & NOAA collaboration projects
The potential for non-NASA commercialization is nearly applicable to all systems using diffractive optical elements. The reduced component count and improved throughput offered can be taken advantage of in Telecommunication, Augmented Reality, and Life Science. The added cost reduction benefit of replication fabrication techniques will open this technology to high volume commercial applications.