Advanced Imaging


Industry News

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

NASA Selects Boston Micromachines for Phase 2 Project

via PRNewswire

WATERTOWN, Mass., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Boston MicromachinesCorporation, a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror products foradaptive optics systems, today announced that it has been selected by NASA fora Phase 2 contract. NASA's Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)awarded Boston Micromachines an approximately $600,000 contract to develop adeformable mirror suitable for space-based operation in systems for high-resolution imaging.

This deformable mirror will be fabricated through an innovativecombination of MEMS fabrication techniques using single crystal silicon forall structural components. This mirror promises the unprecedented precision,thermal stability and optical quality required for space-based operation. Theeventual application of this mirror is to operate in space as part of a futureobservatory mission for the detection of planets in other solar systems.

"We are pleased that NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has chosen toexpand its investment in our technology," said Paul Bierden, president and CEOof Boston Micromachines. "Phase 1 of this project has proven the scientificand technical merit of our high-performance deformable micromirror technologywithin this highly competitive process."

The successful "proof-of-principle" mirror that was achieved in a Phase 1contract, led to the issuing of the Phase 2 contract. In this round of SBIR,NASA evaluated 273 proposals submitted by U.S. owned small businesses. ThesePhase 2 contracts continue development of only the most promising Phase 1projects.

Boston Micromachines and NASA have additional projects underway. Boston Micromachines is providing a high-resolution MEMS deformable mirror for aNASA-sponsored space exploration project led by Boston University. Theproject, Planet Imaging Concept Testbed Using a Rocket Experiment (PICTURE),mission's objective is to obtain a direct image of an extrasolar giant planet.Its telescope, which uses Boston Micromachines' MEMS mirror for wavefrontcontrol, will be launched from White Sands, NM, aboard a NASA sounding rocketin early 2007. This will be the first-ever use of a MEMS deformable mirror inspace.

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