Minimally Machined HoneySiC Mirrors for Low Areal Cost and Density

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$599,934.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX11CB94C
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
094659
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
S2.04
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
CA, San Diego, CA, 92121-4339
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
841440832
Principal Investigator:
Bill Goodman
Principal Investigator
(858) 437-3899
bgoodman@trexenterprises.com
Business Contact:
Mary MacDonald
Contracts Administrator
(858) 646-5490
mmacdonald@trexenterprises.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
A problem perceived for Trex Enterprises chemical vapor composite silicon carbide CVC SiC<SUP>TM</SUP>mirrors is the cost associated with machining and lightweighting the mirrors. Indeed these processes are labor, schedule, risk and cost drivers for our exceptional, high performance variety of silicon carbide material. Although we have made significant strides in improving our baseline CVC SiC<SUP>TM</SUP>manufacturing processes, the product is still substantially higher priced than the goals of the NASA project. In Phase I, we created and demonstrated a manufacturing process for the new ceramic matrix composite honeycomb panel silicon carbide (HoneySiC or H-SiC) which nearly eliminates the machining and lightweighting process steps for mirrors and opto-mechanical structures. The new material achieves lightweighting of 92% relative to bulk material and net production cost on the order of $38K per square meter (unpolished), less than half of NASA's goal of $100K per square meter. Web thickness, core geometries (pocket depth, pocket size), and mirror shape are easily tailored since H-SiC starts as a molded precursor material. The Phase II project will start at Technology Readiness Level 3 (TRL 3, experimental critical function and characteristic proof of concept) and end at TRL 5 (breadboard in a relevant environment).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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