Santa Clara, Calif.-based Landrex Technologies Inc., the maker of Optima PCB (printed circuit board) assembly automated optical inspection equipment, has named Ascentech as its sales representative in New England. Ascentech, of Essex, Conn., represents suppliers of electrical test, inspection, assembly, production automation, selective solder, impedance design and test, and handling equipment used in electronic assembly operations. . . . NASA awarded Boston Micromachines Corp., a Watertown, Mass., provider of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based deformable mirror products for adaptive optics systems, a phase-II $600,000 Small Business Innovation Research Program contract to develop a deformable mirror for space-based operation in high-resolution imaging systems. The deformable mirror will be fabricated with a combination of MEMS fabrication techniques using single-crystal silicon for its structural components. It will operate in space as part of a future observatory mission to detect planets in other solar systems. In another projet, Boston Micromachines is providing a high-resolution MEMS deformable mirror for the Planet Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Rocket Experiment (PICTURE), a space exploration collaboration among Boston University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. PICTURE is a sounding rocket experiment to obtain the first direct image of a Jupiter-like planet around another star. The experiment will use a nulling interferometer developed at JPL and a telescope using Boston Micromachines' MEMS mirror for wavefront control, among other technology, for the flight demonstration, scheduled to be launched from White Sands, N.M., aboard a NASA sounding rocket in early 2007.
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