BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- Lucy Cohan and David Miller of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been selected as the 2011 winners of the Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize for their paper, titled "Integrated modeling for design of lightweight, active mirrors." The Kingslake Medal is awarded annually to the most noteworthy original paper in Optical Engineering, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and includes a $2,000 honorarium.
Cohan and Miller will be presented with the award at next week's SPIE Optics and Photonics symposium in San Diego.
The winning paper, published in the June 2011 issue of Optical Engineering, introduces a new approach to optimizing resolution and sensitivity of space-based imaging systems with an integrated modeling system for lightweight, active mirror design using silicon carbide.
Miller's and Cohan's work confronts the challenge of simultaneously optimizing on-orbit performance of the equipment with large and flexible apertures while also being able to withstand the stresses of launch on the materials, said award committee chair Tomasz Tkaczyk (Rice University). Their integrated modeling system determines the design space and error limits as well as sustainability during the launch process.
Parameters of the model reflect different designs and incorporate critical metrics including mass, volume, flexibility, and correction ability while in orbit. Finally, a trade space analysis determines which features of the design space can be manipulated to optimize performance for specific missions, making their findings important and widely applicable to space-based optical imaging systems.
Miller is a professor, director of Space Systems Laboratory, and head of the Systems Sector in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. His research focuses on the development of reconfigurable spacecraft concepts that permit repair, assembly, upgrade, and multi-mission functionality through docking of modular satellites with standardized interfaces.
Cohan, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, received a bachelor of science from Cornell University in 2005 and a PhD in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 2010.
Ronald Driggers (U.S. Naval Research Lab) is Editor-in-Chief of Optical Engineering. Journal articles are accessible by subscription or per-paper purchase in the SPIE Digital Library, with abstracts open via free access.
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional growth, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $2.7 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2011.
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