Lightweight High Spatial Frequency Active Mirror Using E Beam Control
NASA needs larger, lighter optics to achieve the objectives of understanding the Structure and Evolution of the Universe (SEU). Optics of 10-m class and beyond must be active to maintain sufficient optical figure. However, traditional deformable mirrors are too massive and complex to launch into orbit. Electron beam actuation solves this problem by replacing the myriad of wires of current high spatial frequency deformable optics with an electron source. Pointing the electron beam anywhere on the mirror surface provides unparalleled flexibility and unlimited spatial frequency. Phase I results proved the ability to provide high authority, stable and repeatable actuation on an electron beam actuated optic. Flood loading induced 9-waves of power in a 1-in optic. Focusing and pointing the electron beam achieved localized deformations. A scalable design is introduced to allow for a 25-40 cm diameter, less than 5-kg/m2 optic actuated by electron beam control to be delivered on Phase II. The multi-parametric nature of electron beam actuation will be harnessed by developing novel control algorithms. The proposed project will allow for a lower mass, reduced complexity design capable of shape fitting not possible with any current deformable mirror technology, due to the flexibility of electron beam control.
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