Low Cost Method of Manufacturing Space Optics
Proposed is the development of a manufacturing technology that will increase feasible large optics design options and significantly reduce the manufacturing time, cost and risk involved in manufacturing large optic components. Specifically addressed are cutting and light weighting of glass and ceramic optical components.While milling and cutting materials such as ULE or SiC is often performed at Ormond using a novel technology, there is a need to develop this technology to a point where the risk of machining large optics made from these materials is acceptably low and NASA and its contractors understand the technical and cost performance. Development is needed to address engineering requirements of large optics and to advance production readiness.In Phase I, proprietary glass and ceramic cutting and milling technologies will be adapted to space optics requirements through software, process and tool development. Performance data will be immediately available to support ongoing NASA programs and to set the groundwork for Phase II. Key risk reduction methods will be identified.The Phase I workscope will involve NASA primes to demonstrate and prove the feasibility of implementing the proposed technology in large optics manufacturing. Phase II will result in a commercial ready means of cutting and milling large optics.
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