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Proceedings Paper

Design of the deformable mirror demonstration CubeSat (DeMi)
Author(s): Ewan S. Douglas; Gregory Allan; Derek Barnes; Joseph S. Figura; Christian A. Haughwout; Jennifer N. Gubner; Alex A. Knoedler; Sarah LeClair; Thomas J. Murphy; Nikolaos Skouloudis; John Merck; Roedolph A. Opperman; Kerri L. Cahoy
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Paper Abstract

The Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (DeMi) was recently selected by DARPA to demonstrate in-space operation of a wavefront sensor and Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) deformable mirror (DM) payload on a 6U CubeSat. Space telescopes designed to make high-contrast observations using internal coronagraphs for direct characterization of exoplanets require the use of high-actuator density deformable mirrors. These DMs can correct image plane aberrations and speckles caused by imperfections, thermal distortions, and diffraction in the telescope and optics that would otherwise corrupt the wavefront and allow leaking starlight to contaminate coronagraphic images. DeMi is provide on-orbit demonstration and performance characterization of a MEMS deformable mirror and closed loop wavefront sensing. The DeMi payload has two operational modes, one mode that images an internal light source and another mode which uses an external aperture to images stars. Both the internal and external modes include image plane and pupil plane wavefront sensing. The objectives of the internal measurement of the 140-actuator MEMS DM actuator displacement are characterization of the mirror performance and demonstration of closed-loop correction of aberrations in the optical path. Using the external aperture to observe stars of magnitude 2 or brighter, assuming 3-axis stability with less than 0.1 degree of attitude knowledge and jitter below 10 arcsec RMSE, per observation, DeMi will also demonstrate closed loop wavefront control on an astrophysical target. We present an updated payload design, results from simulations and laboratory optical prototyping, as well as present our design for accommodating high-voltage multichannel drive electronics for the DM on a CubeSat.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 September 2017
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 10400, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII, 1040013 (1 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2274430
Show Author Affiliations
Ewan S. Douglas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Gregory Allan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Derek Barnes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Joseph S. Figura, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Christian A. Haughwout, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Jennifer N. Gubner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Wellesley College (United States)
Alex A. Knoedler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Sarah LeClair, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
South Kingstown High School (United States)
Thomas J. Murphy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Nikolaos Skouloudis, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
John Merck, Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. (United States)
Roedolph A. Opperman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. (United States)
Kerri L. Cahoy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10400:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VIII
Stuart Shaklan, Editor(s)

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