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Adaptive Optics Associates Awarded WFIRST Contract

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2017
DEVENS, Mass. — Adaptive Optics Associates Inc., (AOX) a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corp., has been awarded a sole-source contract to provide mission-critical optical technology for the WFIRST coronagraph instrument.

WFIRST is a future IR space observatory that was recommended in 2010 by U.S. National Research Council Decadal Survey committee as the top priority for the next decade of astronomy. The WFIRST telescope will be equipped with a specialized optical-imaging coronagraph, with the potential to directly image exoplanets over the course of its mission. AOX Xinetics will design and fabricate the integrated adaptive optics system with ultrareliable sub-angstrom precision motion. AOX successfully completed the preliminary design studies in early 2016 with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology.

WFIRST’s coronagraph will provide a 1000-fold improvement in existing technology to see distant planets in other solar systems. This advancement will help the scientific community with the study of the atmospheres and conditions on exoplanets using WFIRST and with future missions that will search for signs of life on exoplanets.

“We are honored to work with NASA, JPL and the WFIRST team,” said M. Roman Hachkowski, general manager of AOX. “AOX’s adaptive optics technology will enable astronomers to directly image and study exoplanets. This capability is ideal for science space missions that require both precision and durability to advance human discovery.”

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization applications.


BusinessAdaptive Optics AssociatesNorthrop GrummanWFIRSTNASAU.S. National Research CouncilDecadel SurveyAOX XineticsJet Propulsion LaboratoryJPLawardscontractAmericaslight speed

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