Development of a Laser Micromachining Process for the Fabrication of SiC Mirrors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: FA8650-04-M-5222
Agency Tracking Number: B041-086-0708
Amount: $99,509.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA04-086
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 223, Miamisburg, OH, 45343
DUNS: 927253195
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kenneth Hix
 R&D Scientist
 (937) 865-3041
Business Contact
 Larry Dosser
Title: President
Phone: (937) 865-4481
Research Institution
The key goal of this program is to reduce the non-recurring and recurring costs and shorten cycle times for fabrication of the next generation cryogenic telescope structural and optical components. Currently beryllium is used for both the mirrors and the optical bench assemblies in these high performance optical telescopes due to its 1) high stiffness at very light weights and 2) very good thermal properties. However, the use of Be in these telescopes is costly because of the substantial fabrication lead-times associated with the machining and mechanical polishing of mirror surfaces. In addition, the health/environmental hazard related to handling Be is a very significant issue. Over the last few years, silicon carbide (SiC) materials and technologies have matured to the point that they are being baselined for DoD and NASA's operational space flight systems. Recently, Raytheon and MDA have initiated a laser microfabrication process for SiC in the critical optical components of cryogenic telescopes. Developing a laser micromachining capability to fabricate the mirror shape and ultimately polish the surface of a silicon carbide mirror blank will drastically reduce the required lead-time and eliminate the hazards associated with the Be fabrication process. The program outlined in this proposal will determine the appropriate laser for the microfabrication tasks and determine the conceptual design for a SiC mirror fabrication workstation.

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

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