This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Ball Aerospace Demonstrates Ultra-Lightweight Telescope Technologies For DARPA's MOIRE Program

BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has demonstrated unprecedented telescope technologies using ultra-lightweight polymer membrane optics.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131206/LA28846)

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130108/LA39163LOGO)  

Ball is incrementally demonstrating technology needed to deploy a large, 20-meter-diameter, lightweight space-based telescope in geosynchronous orbit as part of the Membrane Optic Imager Real-time Exploitation (MOIRE) program, led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Most recently, Ball completed construction and testing of one-eighth of a 5-meter-diameter annular segmented telescope to verify functionality of the MOIRE design. 

"The ground demonstration substantiates that this innovative technology could work on next generation space telescopes to greatly reduce their costs and enable larger telescopes," said Ball Aerospace President Rob Strain.  "This technology could apply to a wide-range of applications providing various forms of information to a multitude of users."

The lightweight optics developed under the MOIRE program reduces the mass of large aperture telescopes by  nearly an order of magnitude compared to those with conventional optics.  Since costs scale roughly with spacecraft mass, one key to affordability is minimizing the mass of future space optics. This technology could lend itself to easily stowed configurations for launch within a payload shroud that could be deployed on orbit.

The telescope concept that Ball developed employs thin (less than 1/1000 th of an inch) transparent membranes etched with a diffraction pattern as the primary optical element used to focus light.

"This is the first design to use transparent membranes on a large scale," said Aaron Seltzer, director of Advanced Development for Ball Aerospace's National Defense business unit. "The result is a telescope with exceptionally low mass per unit of collecting area."

To produce MOIRE's optical-quality polymer membranes and the precision etching needed to generate the diffraction pattern, Ball worked with NeXolve and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  The Ball demonstration telescope uses six primary diffractive optical elements. Additional technologies demonstrated by Ball for the MOIRE telescope include the use of secondary diffractive optical elements to correct chromatic dispersion (e.g. the rainbow effect visible on the reverse side of a DVD); stability of the membranes; and the use of laser metrology and active optics to align the primary and secondary optics.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,058.35 -469.68 -2.84%
S&P 500 1,913.85 -58.33 -2.96%
NASDAQ 4,636.1050 -140.4030 -2.94%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs