Project Title:


  94-1	08.06	1373

  Active Segmented Mirror Technology Development
     A two phase program is proposed which leads to the design, 
  development, and fabrication of several dozen precision active 
  mirror segments. The program addresses the stated need for basic 
  building blocks to construct very large adaptive mirrors capable 
  of optical wavefront correction at a spatial scale of 3 cm. 
  Phase I will produce two candidate designs, one of which will be 
  realized as a functional mockup. All organizations conducting 
  active research in the key technology areas of edge sensors, 
  actuators, and relevant batch fabrication methods will be 
  contacted. The most promising development efforts will be 
  synthesized into one or both of the candidate designs. Areas 
  requiring further technology push will be noted. The final 
  results of Phase I will be presented to the NASA project office 
  for review and downselect. In Phase II the winning design will 
  be revised to reflect input from the NASA review and a 
  Preliminary Design Review held. The remainder of the program is 
  structured to reduce the concept to practice in the form of a 
  small cluster of prototype active mirror segments. Calibration 
  and initial testing will be conducted before the hardware is 
  transferred to NASA for full characterization and performance 
  assessment. 
     The new generation of segmented mirror technology would find 
  considerable applications potential in the fields of astronomy 
  and laboratory research in adaptive optics and related subjects. 
  The technology is clearly intended for construction of very 
  large astronomical telescopes of unprecedented resolution. But 
  broader markets may exist in the small to medium scale science 
  programs. Given low cost building blocks, researchers at many of 
  the smaller educational institutions around the world would be 
  able to construct adaptive optics experiments at a scale 
  precisely tailored to the amount of funding available to them. 
  The potential for spin-off benefits is very high, particularly 
  with regards to batch figuring of silicon mirror elements. 

Abstract: