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Silicon Lightweight Mirrors (SLMS TM ) Athermal Technology for Cryogenic and High Energy Laser Applications. S mall B usiness I nnovation R esearch. Schafer Corporation Chelmsford, Massachusetts. INNOVATION.

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Silicon Lightweight Mirrors (SLMSTM) Athermal Technology for Cryogenic and High Energy Laser Applications





Schafer Corporation

Chelmsford, Massachusetts


Schafer’s Silicon Lightweight Mirrors (SLMSTM) technology has significant cost, schedule and performance advantages over Beryllium, ULE, Zerodur and SiC products. SLMSTM technology is for lightweight, athermal optics, telescopes, scan mirrors, and antennas for operation in the microwave to extreme ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum over a wide range of temperatures.

  • Less than 10 kg/m2 areal density
  • Figure accuracy (0.02 waves RMS HeNe), surface finish (< 5 Angstroms RMS) and surface quality (20/20 scratch/dig) suitable for extreme ultraviolet, visible, and infrared wavelengths
  • Vacuum-cryogenic-qualified to 27 Kelvin at NASA MSFC X-Ray Calibration Facility (XRCF)
    • Achieved technology readiness level 6 for mirrors and mounted mirror subassembly
    • Best cryogenic performance of any dielectric coated mirror tested at XRCF
  • Lightweight Optical Systems (LWOS) business area is part of Space & Directed Energy Division
  • SLMSTM and LASITTM (Lightweight Athermal SLMS Innovative Telescope) product lines
  • Multiple NASA and DoD Phase I and Phase II SBIR awards
  • Commercial contracts with several major system houses
  • Cumulative sales revenues over $2M in second year
  • Developing ISO9001:2000 quality assurance
  • Primary target markets: Optical instruments for NASA missions; fast-steering mirrors and optics for airborne and space high-energy laser systems; telescopes for imaging, surveillance and Lasercom; scan mirrors for GOES-R Weather Satellite, small sats

NASA UV Demonstrator Mirror

  • NASA and NOAA government/civilian: environmental monitoring (GOES-R, Lidar); planetary exploration (Space Interferometer Mission); space-based astronomy (Explorer, Discovery and Origins missions)
  • Defense: High-energy laser systems (ABL, M-THEL, ATL, SSL, SBL); imaging, surveillance and reconnaissance (telescopes); transformational communications (Lasercom, optical/RF antennas)

Marshall Space Flight Center

Subtopic: 01.06, UV Optics and Detectors

March 2003

Contacts: MSFC technical: Dr. Andrew Keys, 256-544-8038

MSFC success story: Tom Knight, 256-544-5353

Schafer Corp.: Dr. Bill Goodman, 505-338-2865

2001 Phase I, NAS8-01174; 2002 Phase II, NAS8-02114