Close

Search

Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
2016 Photonics Buyers' Guide Clearance! – Use Coupon Code FC16 to save 60%!
share
Email Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Comments

BMC to Improve Imaging of Exoplanets

Photonics.com
Dec 2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 22, 2011 — Boston Micromachines Corp. (BMC) has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research contract for $125,000 by NASA to advance exoplanet imaging research involving deformable mirrors.

One of NASA’s core objectives is to explore exoplanets — earthlike planets outside of our solar system. Space telescope optics cannot be shaped to the precision required for imaging of small earth-size planets, so deformable mirrors — such as the ones developed at BMC — must be used to correct for the residual aberrations resulting from initial fabrication and from slowly changing mechanical deformations of the deployed primary mirror.

The grant will enable BMC to develop processes and manufacturing innovations that will improve the ability of deformable mirrors to correct for these residual aberrations.

BMC will develop and demonstrate an innovative microfabrication process to substantially improve the surface quality achievable in high-resolution continuous-membrane MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) deformable mirrors. The goals include at least a twofold improvement in small-scale surface flatness in comparison with the state of the art, and corresponding reductions in diffraction.

“The improvements in deformable mirror fabrication technology proposed in this project will help astronomers achieve their goal of imaging earthlike planets in other solar systems,” said Paul Bierden, president and co-founder of BMC. “In addition, this research has potential impact on commercial applications such as optical communications, surveillance, pulse shaping and biological imaging.”

For more information, visit: www.bostonmicromachines.com  



Comments
Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top

Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2016 Photonics Media
x We deliver – right to your inbox. Subscribe FREE to our newsletters.