BOULDER, Colo., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has completed thermal vacuum environmental tests on critical components for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Membrane Optic Imager Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) 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.