Silicon Carbide Technologies for Lightweighted Aerospace Mirrors
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The use of monolithic glass and beryllium to produce lightweighted aerospace mirror systems has reached its limits due to the long lead times, high processing costs, environmental effects and launch loadweight requirements. New material solutions and manufacturing processes are required to meet DoDs directed energy weapons, reconnaissancesurveillance, and secured communications needs. Over the past several years the Air Force, MDA, and NASA has focused their efforts on the fabrication, lightweighting, and scale-up of numerous silicon carbide SiC based materials. It is anticipated that SiC can be utilized for most applications from cryogenic to high temperatures. This talk will focus on describing the SOA for these near term SiC technology solutions for making mirror structural substrates, figuring and finishing technologies being investigated to reduce cost time and cost, and non-destructive evaluation methods being investigated to help eliminate risk. Mirror structural substrates made out of advanced engineered materials far term solutions such as composites, foams, and microsphere arrays for ultra lightweighting will also be briefly discussed.
- Ceramics, Refractories and Glass
- Unmanned Spacecraft