NASA Taps Boston Micromachines
Boston Micromachines Corp., provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products for adaptive optics systems, announced that it has been selected by NASA for two Phase 1 contracts. NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) awarded Boston Micromachines approximately $200,000 in contracts to further space imaging research. Boston Micromachines’ projects were chosen from more than 1,600 proposals. The first Phase 1 project is to develop a compact, ultralow-power, high-voltage multiplexed driver suitable for integration with Boston Micromachines’ deformable mirrors in space-based wavefront control applications. This project, a collaboration between Boston Micromachines and Boston University, aims for a driver to be produced with a minimum hundredfold reduction in power consumption and a tenfold reduction in size while maintaining its high precision but decreasing cost interconnection complexity. The second Phase 1 project is an enhanced fabrication development process for high-actuator-count deformable mirrors (DMs) that are required for wavefront control in space-based high-contrast imaging instruments. This manufacturing process will overcome the current scalability issues associated with fabricated, micromachined MEMS DMs with a polysilicon surface. With larger DM devices, space imaging instruments will shape more light using less hardware and fewer stages.