Nanolaminate Membranes as Cylindrical Telescope Reflectors

A document discusses a proposal to use axially stretched metal nanolaminate membranes as lightweight parabolic cylindrical reflectors in the Dual Anamorphic Reflector Telescope (DART) — a planned spaceborne telescope in which the cylindrical reflectors would be arranged to obtain a point focus. The discussion brings together a combination of concepts reported separately in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles, the most relevant being “Nanolaminate Mirrors With Integral Figure-Control Actuators” NPO-30221, Vol. 26, No. 5 (May 2002), page 90; and “Reflectors Made From Membranes Stretched Between Beams” NPO-30571, Vol. 33, No. 10 (October 2009), page 11a. The engineering issues receiving the greatest emphasis in the instant document are (1) the change in curvature associated with the Poisson contraction of a stretched nanolaminate reflector membrane and (2) the feasibility of using patches of poly(vinylidene fluoride) on the rear membrane surface as piezoelectric actuators to correct the surface figure for the effect of Poisson contraction and other shape errors.

This work was done by Jennifer Dooley, Mark Dragovan, Gregory Hickey, and Shyh-Shiu Lih of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Physical Sciences category. NPO-40797

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