BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has successfully completed a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the Membrane Optic Imager Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) program under contract to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Ball Aerospace is incrementally demonstrating technologies needed to develop a large, lightweight geosynchronous space-based telescope using advanced diffractive optics membrane to provide persistent, real-time, tactical video to the war fighter.
The PDR, which concluded on August 30, demonstrated the ability to create a diffracted optical element (DOE) on a membrane. Ball Aerospace showed an 80 centimeter diameter, 32.5 meter focal length imaging DOE. This component is typical of what would be used for a 5 meter diameter telescope. Ultimately, the system is envisioned to use multiple membranes to form a collection aperture that is 20 meters in diameter. MOIRE seeks to validate the manufacturability of large membranes, large structures to hold the optics tight and flat, and also demonstrate the secondary optical elements needed to turn a diffraction based optic (such as photon sieve) into a wide, bandwidth imaging device.
"The use of membrane optics is an unprecedented approach to building large aperture telescopes," said Ball Aerospace President & CEO, David L. Taylor. "With the technology being developed on the MOIRE program, Ball Aerospace is broadening its role in geosynchronous imaging."
In phase two of the program now underway, a sub-aperture section of a 5 meter diameter demonstration telescope will be designed and built. Five additional risk-reduction options in phase two of the program will be addressed prior to Ball building a flight demonstration.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications. For more information visit www.ballaerospace.com.
Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2010 sales of more than $7.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.
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SOURCE Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.