A Novel and New Ultra-Lightweight Reinforcement for Producing Low-Mass Optical S
Ultra-light materials are enabling for producing space based optical components and support structures. Heretofore, innovative design using existing materials has been the approach to produce lightweight optical systems. Graphite fiber, because of its lightweight, reinforced composites have been a material of frequent choice to produce space based optical components. A novel and unique new approach to reduce the weight of graphite fiber up to 50% has been cursory shown to be feasible. This program proposes to develop carbon/graphite fibers with substantial weight reduction for use as reinforcements to fabricate ultra-lightweight space based optical systems. Carbon/graphite fibers with up to 50% reduced mass will be demonstrated and sufficient quantities produced to fabricate composites to characterize for demonstrating the mass reduction that can be expected in space based optical systems. Such an ultra-lightweight material is expected to generate a paradigm shift for any application that must overcome gravity and its own momentum.
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