Ultrasmooth Finishing Of Optics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 19684
Amount: $53,987.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1993
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Materials Modification, Inc.
2929 Eskridge Road, Fairfax, VA, 22031
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 A.p. Malshe
 (703) 560-1370
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
OPTICS USED IN SENSORS OR MISSILE SYSTEMS ARE MADE FROM SAPPHIRE, OR SILICON CARBIDE BECAUSE OF THEIR EXCELLENT OPTICAL OR INSULATING PROPERTIES, THEIR INERT, AND THEIR ABILITY TO RESIST HARSH ENVIRONMENTS. POLISHING SAPPHIRE BY MECHANICAL OR MECHANOCHEMICAL METHODS INDUCES RESIDUAL DAMAGE AND LIMITS THE OVERALL SURFACE ROUGHNESS (USUALLY AROUND 1 MICROINCH). THIS ROUGHNESS PRODUCES SCATTERING CENTERS THAT AFFECT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE OPTICS. FURTHER, POLISHING OF LARGE AREAS AND CONTOURED SURFACES USING MECHANICAL OR MECHANOCHEMICAL METHODS IS BOTH TIME CONSUMING AND EXPENSIVE. THUS, A HIGH SPEED MODERATE COST TECHNIQUE THAT CAN POLISH OPTICAL MATERIALS WITH MINIMUM DAMAGE IS DESIRED. A NOVEL, LOW COST LASER POLISHING METHOD IS PROPOSED IN THIS PHASE I THAT WILL PRODUCE ULTRASMOOTH SAPPHIRE SURFACES. THIS TECHNIQUE HAS THE CAPABILITY TO BE ADAPTED FOR CONTOURED SURFACES AND CAN ALSO BE USED IN COMBINATION WITH INTELLIGENT MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS. THE PHASE I EFFORT WILL ESTABLISH THE FEASIBILITY OF POLISHING SAPPHIRE SUBSTRATES USING A UNIQUE LASER METHOD. THE FOLLOW ON PHASE II WILL BE DEVOTED TO POLISHING LARGE COMPLEX GEOMETRIES THAT CAN BE CHARACTERIZED AND FIELD TESTED IN SEVERAL OPTICAL APPLICATIONS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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