Boston Micromachines successfully delivered the world’s first fully-functioning 2K-DM to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as part of NASA’s Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program! With 2040 actuators, this mirror will be a contributing element to the BMC’s goal of developing DM technology for next generation space-based telescopes for exoplanet imaging.
What is even more exciting is that the NASA SBIR program has decided to extend our contract into its Phase II-X program in which BMC will deliver additional deformable mirrors for evaluation and potential inclusion in the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) program. The WFIRST program is a NASA mission concept of a next-generation space telescope that will play a role in the next steps of exoplanet and dark energy research for astronomers and scientists. This is scheduled to launch in the mid-2020s. Check out more here.
Artist rendering of WFIRST telescope, planned for a mid-2020 launch. Courtesy of NASA.
This project has provided BMC the experience and the opportunity to begin the first steps towards the production of even higher actuator count DMs, 8,000 actuators or more, for space-based and ground-based telescopes.
Much credit goes to all involved on both the BMC and JPL teams for working together on future developments of mirror technology for future space missions and exoplanet searching.
For the full press release, it can be found here: bit.ly/2NxwvlW.