Technology

The MorphOptic Rapid Additive Mirror Process

In order to address these challenges we have developed a Rapid Additive Mirror Process (RAMP).  The RAMP techniques MorphOptic (MO) has developed are unlike abrasive or printable deposition-based nanoscale additive surface technologies.

RAMP uses  relatively inexpensive 3D printer technologies in combination with new physics-based techniques for shaping mm-scale thickness glass without roughening the smooth fire-polished front surface of our mirror starting point – commercially available thin borofloat glass plates.

Current Methods of Optics Polishing are Difficult,  Labor Intensive and Expensive

The energy concentrator mirrors that are used for low-power lasers and high resolution imaging are often a bottleneck in the development and deployment of optical communication constellations (on the ground or in space) and for remote sensing and direct imaging.

High quality paraboloidal optics (on- or off-axis) typically require many cycles of abrasive polishing and 10-nanometer-scale metrology. Meter-scale paraboloids can cost $0.4M/m2 and are often the pacing component of imaging (or communication) systems.

Technological Goal

Through experiment, precise metrology, and physics-based models, MorphOptics will advance our RAMP curvature-polishing as an important tool for the low-cost fabrication of low-mass high-quality imaging and energy concentrator optics in support of space domain awareness, robust satellite constellations for ISR and optical communication networks.

The MorphOptic RAMP Mirrors are:

Lighter

Mirrors are an order of magnitude lighter than abrasively polished mirrors

Smoother

The front surface of our mirrors are smooth, with non-specular scattered light an order of magnitude less than typical abrasively polished or deposition-based mirrors

Easily Fabricated

Our mirrors are easily fabricated as off-axis energy concentrators or mild free-form optical surfaces,

Precise

Our glass-shaping techniques are deterministic and accurate at the 10-nanometer scale

Inexpensive

Our technology is inexpensive using COTS fabrication equipment and can decrease optical mirror costs by an order of magnitude or more.

Our technology has several advantages that enable:

Smaller and less massive satellites

Curvature polished mirrors are typically 10x lighter with savings that propagate into the overall satellite system mass and costs. For example, a 1kg 10cm conventional mirror may be only 50g

Detection of faint objects

Faint targets that are closely spaced to bright sources can be more readily detected: MorphOptic mirrors are smooth on the smallest spatial scales and so have low scattered light to see spatially complex high contrast space targets.

Optical systems cost reduction

Satellite optical subsystem costs can be reduced by 10x: MorphOptic mirror fabrication is deterministic and requires only a few iterations in contrast to the 10-50 cycles that current abrasive techniques require.

Complex reflective shapes

More light efficient and compact optical system designs are possible using complex reflective shapes: The MorphOptic polishing algorithms can readily create aspheric and even mild free-form optical mirrors.

Less expensive small quantity optics

Overall costs of even small quantity optics can be 10x less than conventional polished optics: MorphOptic fabrication technology uses slightly modified off the shelf hardware with small entry and continuing costs.

High bandwidth optical communication

Our process promotes high bandwidth optical communication and dense satellite networks.  The cost of a typical meter-scale precision mirror can cost millions. This cost is often the overall pacing components in imaging and communication systems.

Perfecting the process of making large-scale optical mirrors

Company

Optics
AI
Telescope

Contact

jeff.reykuhn@yahoo.com

MorphOptic
2540 Kekaulike Ave.
Kula, HI 96790