Nanostructured Radiation Hard Optical Coatings for Star Trackers

Period of Performance: 12/15/2006 - 12/14/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Principal Investigator


During the proposed Phase I SBIR program, NanoSonic will fabricate novel multilayered self-assembled anti-reflective coatings onto the surface of space-based detector substrates that will impart improved durability and broadband transmission exceeding the current treatment technology. NanoSonic will demonstrate improvements to broadband transmission by targeting the desired waveband and optical transmission specifications. The requirements for this technology will demonstrate the utility of our patented electrostatic self assembly method, which can be tailored to provide an array of coating properties to a substrate of interest, with controlled thicknesses in the range of several to hundreds of nanometers, with minimal variation and exceptional surface roughness control. The anti-reflective coating of the detector aperture is subjected to a variety of damaging environmental conditions, including extreme temperature variations and exposure to solar radiation. This damage cannot be remotely repaired which renders the detector inoperable, thus unable to communicate accurate information to the interceptors. Substantial improvements to the current coating technology will elevate the performance of the detector and can be achieved through refined control of optical transmission through a longer wavelength, as well as enhanced durability, by employing the ESA method using select materials.