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Proceedings Paper

Advanced optical technologies for space exploration
Author(s): Natalie Clark
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Paper Abstract

NASA Langley Research Center is involved in the development of photonic devices and systems for space exploration missions. Photonic technologies of particular interest are those that can be utilized for in-space communication, remote sensing, guidance navigation and control, lunar descent and landing, and rendezvous and docking. NASA Langley has recently established a class-100 clean-room which serves as a Photonics Fabrication Facility for development of prototype optoelectronic devices for aerospace applications. In this paper we discuss our design, fabrication, and testing of novel active pixels, deformable mirrors, and liquid crystal spatial light modulators. Successful implementation of these intelligent optical devices and systems in space, requires careful consideration of temperature and space radiation effects in inorganic and electronic materials. Applications including high bandwidth inertial reference units, lightweight, high precision star trackers for guidance, navigation, and control, deformable mirrors, wavefront sensing, and beam steering technologies are discussed. In addition, experimental results are presented which characterize their performance in space exploration systems

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6713, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments, 67130G (26 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.736659
Show Author Affiliations
Natalie Clark, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6713:
Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments
Edward W. Taylor; David A. Cardimona, Editor(s)

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