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Proceedings Paper

Design and performance evaluation of sensors and actuators for advanced optical systems
Author(s): Natalie Clark
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Paper Abstract

Current state-of-the-art commercial sensors and actuators do not meet many of NASA's next generation spacecraft and instrument needs. Nor do they satisfy the DoD needs for satellite missions, especially micro/nano satellite missions. In an effort to develop advanced optical devices and instruments that meet mission requirements, NASA Langley recently completed construction of a new cleanroom housing equipment capable of fabricating high performance active optic and adaptive optic technologies including deformable mirrors, reconfigurable lenses (both refractive and diffractive), spectrometers, spectro-polarimeters, tunable filters and many other active optic devices. In addition to performance, these advanced optic technologies offer advantages in speed, size, weight, power consumption, and radiation tolerance. The active optic devices described in this paper rely on birefringent liquid crystal materials to alter either the phase or the polarization of the incoming light. Design considerations and performance evaluation results for various NASA applications are presented. Applications presented will include large space telescopes, optical communications, spacecraft windows, coronagraphs, and star trackers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 April 2011
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7980, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2011, 798004 (13 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.881924
Show Author Affiliations
Natalie Clark, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7980:
Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2011
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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