MEMS Deformable Mirrors in Astronomical AO


Paul Bierden (1), Steven Cornelissen(1), Charlie Lam(1), and Thomas Bifano (1,2)


(1) Boston Micromachines Corporation, Cambridge, MA 02138 (2) Boston University, Boston, MA 02215


As the development of adaptive optics instrumentation for Extremely Large Telescopes continues, the need for specialized deformable mirror grows. We report on the development of Boston Micromachines’ micro-electromechanical (MEMS) deformable mirrors to meet these needs and the needs of other astronomical AO projects. Specific DM technologies will be discussed including the 4092 element continuous membrane mirror designed and built for the Gemini Planet Imager as well as a 2000 actuator DM being built for general high contrast astronomical AO applications. Also discussed will be a project to design and manufacture a 1021 hexagonal segment (3063 actuator) tip-tilt-piston DM for NASA’s Planet Finding Mission. Design considerations, improvements in reliability, and device characteristics will be discussed. Performance results and plans for future mirrors development and how they fit into AO for ELT will be presented.