NASA Selects Boston Micromachines for Two Phase 1 Projects
Boston Micromachines Deformable Mirrors Chosen for NASA Space Imaging Research
Cambridge, Mass., January 6, 2010 – Boston Micromachines Corporation, a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products for adaptive optics systems, announced today 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.
“These SBIRs mark the 7th and 8th contracts that we have been awarded from NASA through the SBIR program,” said Paul Bierden, president and co-founder of Boston Micromachines. “Our technology continues to help advance the search for extrasolar planets which has emerged as a compelling long term scientific goal for NASA.”
The awards were a part of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research programs. The highly competitive programs afford small businesses the chance to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the government. The criteria used to choose these winning proposals include technical merit and feasibility, experience, qualifications, effectiveness of the work plan and commercial potential.