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NASA Awardes Boston Micromachines Two Contracts for Deformable Mirror Technology

Photonics Spectra
Nov 2017
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Boston Micromachines Corp., a provider of MEMS system-based deformable mirror products, has been awarded two contracts through NASA’s Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program and Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) to develop deformable mirror (DM) technology needed for next-generation space-based telescopes.

The two contracts total $380,000 over the course of one year with the goal of developing new manufacturing approaches for small-stroke, high-precision DMs and associated drive electronics scalable to 10,000 or more actuators. The proposed design study promises inherent advantages in scalability, yield and reliability in comparison to the current generation of MEMS DMs. These development efforts serve as a stepping stone toward the eventual production of a 10,000 actuator deformable mirror for applications in space-based and ground-based telescopes.

“We are excited to continue the technology development needed for future space missions,” said Paul Bierden, president of Boston Micromachines. “The success of this program will help bring a solution for exoplanet imaging with deformable mirrors. [Our] MEMS technology will also help reduce the cost of future exoplanet missions due to their low size, weight and power. We are pleased that NASA continues to support our mirror technology and its role in the future of flight hardware that supports direct exoplanet detection.”

The awards were part of NASA’s SBIR program and ROSES-16 Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program. These highly competitive programs afford small businesses and other entities the chance to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the government.

Boston Micromachines is a developer and provider of MEMS-based mirror products and a designer of adaptive optics instrumentation as well as advanced retinal imaging instrumentation.


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