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Fabrication of Affordable Aspheric Mirrors by Electroforming (FAAME)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Advanced Optical Systems, Inc
6767 Old Madison Pike Suite 410 Huntsville, AL -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Fabrication of Affordable Aspheric Mirrors by Electroforming (FAAME)
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: DASG60-01-P-0058
Award Amount: $64,131.00


Until recently, the cost of high performance electro-optical systems such as missile seekers have been dominated by the cost of the focal plane array. Recent developments are improving the affordability of arrays, with the result that the optical andopto-mechanical subsystems are emerging as the cost drivers. We have addressed this problem through the development of opto-mechanical systems built by precision electroforming. This approach is very promising, but affordability is endangered by immatureprocess technology. Precision electroforming in theory allows a complicated, expensive, optical master mandrel to produce low cost replicas. Experience in a manufacturing plant using current processes taught that mandrel lifetime is going to be anaffordability barrier, partially because semi-skilled workers can damage the mandrel. This program will address affordability of electroformed precision aspheric mirrors through two thrusts: process technology, and the use of multi-generation mandrels. Weexpect to reduce the cost of precision replication by at least of factor of 100, and for the new process to reduce the cost of components delivered to systems by at least a factor of 2, compared to conventional manufacturing.This program will result inlower cost precision aspheric mirrors for DoD systems, as well as providing the benefits of flexible and dual use manufacturing. There is a large commercial market for these optical components if the cost/performance can be reduced beyond that of thecurrent manufacturing techniques.

Principal Investigator:

Kenneth Merwin
Senior Scientist

Business Contact:

R. Hartman
Small Business Information at Submission:

2702 Triana Boulevard, SW, Suite A Huntsville, AL 35805

EIN/Tax ID: 630993088
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No