Enhanced-Resolution Fine-Steering Mirror

Period of Performance: 01/01/2003 - 12/31/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Left Hand Design Corp.
7901 Oxford Road
Longmont, CO 80503
Principal Investigator


Using existing technology, high-accuracy precision 2-axis fine-steering mirror (FSM) applications are limited to position sensors with 0.4 to 1.0 urad resolution. A number of applications, such as JPL?s optical communication programs require 0.1 urad resolution. Three recently developed commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) sensors have inherently better resolution, but have not been proven in FSM applications and are not qualified for space flight. In most cases these devices are sufficiently compact to be integrated with even the smallest FSM with reasonable size increases. The proposed innovation involves the use of one or more of these advanced sensors to achieve a factor of 2 to 5 improvement in resolution for space-based FSM applications. The proposed innovation is an approach to integrate these recently developed advanced base-referenced position sensors into space-qualified FSM designs. The significance for NASA involves achieving reduced cost and risk for high-accuracy JPL applications likehigh-rate inter-planetary optical data transmission and interferometry with improved resolution. LHDC will complete integrated sensor FSM concept designs for the FO15-61, FO35-52 and FR150-35 FSM suitable for use in engineering model manufacturing and testing in Phase II along with estimates of manufacturing capability.