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Photonics New Brief | January 7, 2010
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, ultra-low-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 hundred-fold reduction in power consumption and a tenfold reduction in size while maintaining high precision and decreasing cost interconnection complexity. The second Phase 1 project is an enhanced fabrication development process for high actuator count deformable mirrors (DMs) which are required for wavefront control in space-based high contrast imaging instruments. This manufacturing process will overcome the current scalability issues associated with fabricated, polysilicon surface micromachined MEMS DMs. By expanding the size of DM devices, space imaging instruments will be able to shape more light using less hardware and less stages.

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