Small Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) deformable mirror (DM) technology is of great interest to the adaptive optics (AO) community. These MEMS-DM's are being considered for many conventional AO applications since they posses some advantages over conventional DM's. The MEMS-DM technology is driven by the expectation of achieving improved performance with lower costs, low electrical power, high number of actuators, high production rates, and large reductions in structural mass and volume. In addition to the imaging community, the directed energy community is also interested in taking advantage of the characteristics which MEMS-DM's offer.
Unlike imaging, the optical fill-factor of a high-energy laser DM, has to be essentially 100 percent! Many modern MEMS-DM designs consist of small, lightweight, segmented mirrors that can be precisely controlled. For high-energy laser applications, the MEMS DM's should have a continuous reflective face-sheet with no gaps. This continuous reflective face-sheet must include high-energy laser coatings, which render the face sheet very stiff. This is a new challenge for MEMS-DM's, which has not previously been addressed. The Air Force Research Laboratory has proposed to meet this challenge with several continuous face-sheet high-energy laser MEMS-DM's designs. This paper will give a generic description of a MEMS-DM computer model. The research goal is to develop a MEMS-DM model for closed loop control of a high-energy laser, MEMS-DM adaptive optics application.