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Matched and Ultra-Low CTE Optical Materials

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0006-06-C-7374
Agency Tracking Number: 05-0116T
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA05-T021
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2006-09-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2008-09-28
Small Business Information
3120 Leeman Ferry Road
Huntsville, AL 35801
United States
DUNS: 151305088
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Paul Gierow
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 382-4013
Business Contact
 Paul Gierow
Title: President
Phone: (256) 382-4013
Research Institution
 Sandy Sward
P.O. Box 172460
Bozeman, MT 59717
United States

 (406) 994-2381
 Nonprofit College or University

A new material and processing technology has been developed and demonstrated that will dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing and refurbishing large aluminum based mirrors for optical test applications. Such precision mirrors are also required for surveillance, directed energy, cryo-vacuum scene generation, optical testing, and DoD-sponsored space programs. Traditional aluminum mirror technology is used cryogenic chambers for reasons of thermal expansion matching between the optical bench, mounts and components. These mirrors have to be electroplated with nickel, polished and then reflective coated. This process leads to strain mismatches during the chamber cool down resulting in optical deformation in the mirror and de-lamination of the surfaces after repeated thermal cycles. The Phase I polymer coating process was developed with tuned thermal expansion materials to encourage the membrane to bond tenaciously to the substrate and to act as a strain buffer layer between the coating and optic substrate. The air side of the polymer casting creates a highly polished specular surface for the mirror with nearly a factor of 10:1 improvement — eliminating the need for costly final polishing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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