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NASA Awards Boston Micromachines with Two Contracts for Development of High Actuator Count Deformable Mirrors for Astronomical Imaging Applications

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC), a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products for adaptive optics systems, announced that it has been awarded two contract through NASA's Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program (APRA) and Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) to develop DM technology needed for next generation space-based telescopes . The two contracts total ~$380k over 1 year.

The goals of the APRA and SBIR projects are to develop new manufacturing approaches for small-stroke, high precision deformable mirrors and associated drive electronics scalable to 10,000 or more actuators. The proposed design study promises inherent advantages in scalability, yield, and reliability in comparison to the current generation of MEMS DMs. These development efforts serve as a stepping stone towards the eventual production of a 10,000 actuator deformable mirror for applications in space-based and ground-based telescopes. Manufacturing process advancements from these projects will also be applicable across the BMC portfolio.

"We are excited to continue the technology development needed for future space missions.  The success of this program will help bring a solution for exoplanet imaging with deformable mirrors. BMC's MEMS technology will also help reduce the cost of future exoplanet missions due to their low size, weight, and power," said Paul Bierden, president of Boston Micromachines Corporation. "We are pleased that NASA continues to support our mirror technology and its role in the future of flight hardware that supports direct exoplanet detection."

The awards were part of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research program and ROSES-16: The Astrophysics Research and Analysis Program. These highly competitive programs afford small businesses and other entities the chance to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the government. The criteria used to choose these winning proposals include technical merit and feasibility, experience, qualifications, effectiveness of the work plan and commercial potential.

About Boston Micromachines Corporation
Founded in 1999, Boston Micromachines Corporation (BMC) is the leading provider of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) - based mirror products and a designer of adaptive optics instrumentation as well as advanced retinal imaging instrumentation. By applying wavefront correction to produce high resolution images, BMC devices can be used to enhance images blurred by the earth's atmosphere as well as for imaging biological tissue and the human retina. They are widely used to drive scientific discovery in astronomy, laser beam shaping, microscopy, vision science, and support a variety of defense applications. Customers include NASA, UC Berkeley, Lockheed Martin and Boston University.   Located in Cambridge, MA, BMC is privately held and offers custom-designed manufacturing services in addition to its portfolio of standard DM products.  For more information on BMC, please visit www.bostonmicromachines.com.

For More Information:

Michael Feinberg                                                                                                                     
Boston Micromachines Corporation    
mrf@bostonmicromachines.com                                                         
(617) 868-4178  

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