SOURCE: Boston Micromachines

January 06, 2010 09:00 ET

NASA Selects Boston Micromachines for Two Phase 1 Projects

Boston Micromachines Deformable Mirrors Chosen for NASA Space Imaging Research

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - January 6, 2010) - Boston Micromachines Corporation, a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products for adaptive optics systems, announced today that it has been selected by NASA for two Phase 1 contracts. NASA's Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) awarded Boston Micromachines approximately $200,000 in contracts to further space imaging research. Boston Micromachines projects were chosen from more than 1,600 proposals.

The first Phase 1 project is to develop a compact, ultra-low-power, high-voltage multiplexed driver suitable for integration with Boston Micromachines' deformable mirrors in space-based wavefront control applications. This project, a collaboration between Boston Micromachines and Boston University, aims for a driver to be produced with a minimum hundred-fold reduction in power consumption and a tenfold reduction in size while maintaining high precision and decreasing cost interconnection complexity.

The second Phase 1 project is an enhanced fabrication development process for high actuator count deformable mirrors (DMs) which are required for wavefront control in space-based high contrast imaging instruments. This manufacturing process will overcome the current scalability issues associated with fabricated, polysilicon surface micromachined MEMS DMs. By expanding the size of DM devices, space imaging instruments will be able to shape more light using less hardware and less stages.

"These SBIRs mark the 7th and 8th contracts that we have been awarded from NASA through the SBIR program," said Paul Bierden, president and co-founder of Boston Micromachines. "Our technology continues to help advance the search for extrasolar planets which has emerged as a compelling long term scientific goal for NASA."

The awards were a part of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research programs. The highly competitive programs afford small businesses 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 advanced microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based mirror products for use in commercial adaptive optics systems. By applying wavefront correction to produce high resolution images, BMC devices can be used for imaging biological tissue and the human retina and to enhance images blurred by the earth's atmosphere. The company's suite of award-winning compact deformable mirror (DM) products is the most cost-effective, highest performance mirrors in the market today. 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

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