Aperture: A Precise Extremely large Reflective Telescope Using Re-configurable Elements

Project: Research project

Project Details


Northwestern University teamed with the University of Illinois proposes to develop a concept that uses Magnetic Smart Material (MSM) to apply figure corrections to extremely large (≥16 m diameter) deployable reflective optics. The first step of the deployment will utilize an umbrella-like structure and MSM to achieve a roughly parabolic shape for the optics. The inside of the “umbrella” will be the reflective surface, and the outside will be coated in MSM. A magnetic write head will move to different locations on the MSM coated side to manipulate the MSM thereby changing the shape of the optics and eliminating any deviation from the desired final shape.
Effective start/end date7/1/153/31/16


  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NNX15AL89G)


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