Space

May 21, 2014

Ball Aerospace completes final phase of DARPA MOIRE telescope program

ball-telescope
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has completed thermal vacuum environmental tests on critical components for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Membrane Optic Imager Real-Time Exploitation telescope.

Two sections of the primary mirror composite back structure and the structure deployment hinges successfully underwent environmental tests to simulate the temperature range and vacuum of a space environment.

“Results from the environmental tests are very promising for future application of the technology,” said David Kaufman, vice president & general manager for Ball’s National Defense strategic business unit. “By retiring risk and increasing TRL (technology readiness level) of key components we are one step closer to providing persistent imaging from space that many communities are eager to access.”

Image quality from space is dependent on a stable platform. The composite back structure developed by ATK Space Components provides a lightweight option with the required stability needed for persistent imaging from geostationary orbit. Ball Aerospace designed and built the deployment hinges that would be used to unfold the telescope primary in space. Testing the hinges in a relevant environment helps retire risk and proves the required stability characteristics of the primary.

The DARPA MOIRE program is demonstrating the ability to decrease mass and costs of large imaging systems using lightweight diffractive membrane optics. Since the contract award in 2010, Ball Aerospace has been incrementally maturing the manufacturability required for large collection area telescopes (up to 20 meters). The subassemblies used in the most recent test are needed to hold the membrane optics tight and flat, and provide the necessary image quality of the system. Environmental testing of the components is the final phase of DARPA funding for the MOIRE program.

“As a company with a rich heritage in space optics, this is both an innovative program for Ball Aerospace and a paradigm shift,” added Kaufman. “By using replicated optics techniques to deliver affordability there is no longer a lengthy manufacturing process of glass mirrors, but instead a process similar to a printing press.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines May 27, 2015

News: U.S. Air Force certifies SpaceX for military launches - SpaceX has been certified for military space launch, the U.S. Air Force announced May 26. The long-awaited announcement is a game changer, with SpaceX becoming only the second provider cleared by the service to launch national security payloads into orbit.   Business: Northrop Grumman CEO issues...
 
 

New’s Briefs May 27, 2015

U.S. military begins search flights for stranded Rohingya The United States has begun military surveillance flights to help locate stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people in Southeast Asian seas. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said May 26 that U.S. Navy P8 aircraft flew over the weekend with Malaysian support. Rathke said the U.S. has offered...
 
 
nasa-commercial-crew

Commercial Crew milestones met; partners on track for 2017 missions

NASA has taken another step toward returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. The Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission fro...
 

 
af-spacex

Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security space missions

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, has announced the certification of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s Falco...
 
 

Northrop Grumman passes key design review for B-2 weapons management upgrade

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated to the U.S. Air Force that its plans to upgrade key weapons management software for the B-2 stealth bomber are on track and ready to proceed to the next level of development. The company successfully completed the critical design review of the service’s Flexible Strike Phase 1 program on Feb...
 
 
boeing-space

Boeing awarded first-ever commercial human spaceflight mission

NASA issued a task order as part of Boeing’s $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract recently to include the company’s first-ever service flight to the International Space Station. The award ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>