A major design and analysis challenge for the JWST ISIM structure is thermal survivability of metal/composite adhesively bonded joints at the cryogenic temperature of 30K (-405°F). Current bonded joint concepts include internal invar plug fittings, external saddle titanium/invar fittings and composite gusset/clip joints all bonded to hybrid composite tubes (75mm square) made with M55J/954-6 and T300/954-6 prepregs. Analytical experience and design work done on metal/composite bonded joints at temperatures below that of liquid nitrogen are limited and important analysis tools, material properties, and failure criteria for composites at cryogenic temperatures are sparse in the literature. Increasing this challenge is the difficulty in testing for these required tools and properties at cryogenic temperatures. To gain confidence in analyzing and designing the ISIM joints, a comprehensive joint development test program has been planned and is currently running. The test program is designed to produce required analytical tools and develop a composite failure criterion for bonded joint strengths at cryogenic temperatures. Finite element analysis is used to design simple test coupons that simulate anticipated stress states in the flight joints; subsequently, the test results are used to correlate the analysis technique for the final design of the bonded joints. In this work, we present an overview of the analysis and test methodology, current results, and working joint designs based on developed techniques and properties.
We are developing as micro-machined electrostatically actuated Fabry-Perot tunable filter with a large clear aperture for application in high through-put wide-field imaging spectroscopy and lidar systems. In the first phase of this effort, we are developing key components based on coupled electro-mechanical simulations. In particular, the movable etalon plate design leverages high coating stress to yield a flat surface in drum- head tension over a large diameter. In this approach, the cylindrical silicon movable plate is back etched, resulting in an optically coated membrane that is suspended from a thick silicon support ring. Underestimating the interaction between the support ring, suspended membrane, and coating is critical to developing surfaces that are flat to within stringent etalon requirements. In this work, we present the simulations used to develop the movable plate, spring suspension system, and electrostatic actuation mechanism. We also present results form test of fabricated proof of concept components.
A 2D array of individually addressable micro-mirrors with 100 micrometers by 100 micrometers pixel size, capable of tilting +/- 100 by electrostatic actuation is being developed and fabricated at the Detector Development Laboratory of NASA, GSFC. The development requires integration of CMOS and MEMS fabrication processes. We have competed extensive analytical studies and performed laboratory test to compare model predictions with actual performance of a 3 by 3 array. We are testing the address and driver circuit for a 32 by 32 array and also developing the process integration of the CMOS and MEMS fabrication of the larger arrays. The mirrors are capable of operating at cryogenic temperature for astronomical applications. Our goal is to extend the development to a 25 6by 256 array for a wide variety of space applications including the multi-object-spectrometer in the next generation space telescope.
Many optical MEMS device designs involve large arrays of thin (0.5 to 1 (mu) m) components subjected to high stresses due to cyclic loading. These devices are fabricated from a variety of materials, and the properties strongly depend on size and processing. Our objective is to develop standard and convenient test methods that can be used to measure the properties of large numbers of witness samples, for every device we build. In this work we explore a variety of fracture tests configurations for 0.5 (mu) m thick silicon nitride membranes machined using the Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) process. Testing was completed using an FEI 620 dual focused ion beam milling machine. Static loads were applied using a probe, and dynamic loads were applied through a piezo-electric stack mounted at the base of the probe. Results from the tests are presented and compared, and application for predicting fracture probability of large arrays of devices are considered.
We discuss work in progress on a near-infrared tunable bandpass filter for the Goddard baseline wide field camera concept of the Next Generation Space Telescope Integrated Science Instrument Module. This filter, the Demonstration Unit for Low Order Cryogenic Etalon (DULCE), is designed to demonstrate a high efficiency scanning Fabry-Perot etalon operating in interference orders 1 - 4 at 30 K with a high stability DSP based servo control system. DULCE is currently the only available tunable filter for lower order cryogenic operation in the near infrared. In this application, scanning etalons will illuminate the focal plane arrays with a single order of interference to enable wide field lower resolution hyperspectral imaging over a wide range of redshifts. We discuss why tunable filters are an important instrument component in future space-based observatories.
We are developing novel photodetector arrays based on superconducting transition-edge sensor (TES) and pop-up detector (PUD) technologies. The TES has the potential for a new generation of high sensitivity photodetectors from the IR to the x-ray. This is directly due to the sharpness of the resistance change with temperature at the superconducting transition. The TESs are deposited on the PUD arrays and serve as the sensing elements. The PUDs are close-packed, folded membrane arrays that provide the TES substrate and the thermal isolation required by the bolometers and microcalorimeters. This paper presents the processing-related characterization result of preliminary TES and PUD designs. The gaol of this work is to fabricate a new generation of x-ray calorimeters and IR bolometers for space flight projects.
Carbon-carbon composite materials offer greater thermal efficiency, stiffness to weight ratio, tailorability, and dimensional stability than aluminum. These lightweight thermal materials could significantly reduce the overall cost associated with satellite thermal control and weight. However, the high cost and long lead-time for carbon-carbon manufacture have limited their widespread usage. Consequently, an informal partnership between government and industrial personnel called the Carbon-Carbon spacecraft Radiator Partnership (CSRP) was created to foster carbon- carbon composite use for thermally and structurally demanding space radiator applications. The first CSRP flight opportunity is on the New Millennium Program Earth Orbiter-1 (EO-1) spacecraft, scheduled for launch in late 1999. For EO-1, the CSRP designed and fabricated a Carbon-Carbon Radiator with carbon-carbon facesheets and aluminum honeycomb core, which will also serve as a structural shear panel.
An array of individually addressable micro-shutters is being designed for spectroscopic applications. Details of the design are presented in a companion paper. The mechanical design of a single shutter element has been completed. This design consists of a shutter blade suspended on a torsion beam manufactured out of single crystal silicon membranes. During operation the shutter blade will be rotated by 90 degrees out of the array plane. Thus, the stability and durability of the beams are crucial for the reliability of the devices. Structures were fabricated using focused ion beam milling in a FEI 620 dual beam machine, and subsequent testing was completed using the same platform. This allowed for short turn around times. We performed torsion and bending experiments to determine key characteristics of the membrane material. Results of measurements on prototype shutters were compared with the predictions of the numerical models. The data from these focused studies were used in conjunction with experiments and numerical models of shutter prototypes to optimize the design. In this work, we present the results of the material studies, and assess the mechanical performance of the resulting design.
High sensitivity is a basic requirement for a new generation of thermal detectors. To meet the requirement, close-packed, 2D silicon detector arrays have been developed in NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The goal of the task is to fabricate detector arrays configured with thermal detectors such as IR bolometers and x-ray calorimeters to use in space flight missions. This paper focuses on the fabrication and the mechanical testing of detector arrays in a 0.2 mm pixel size, the smallest pop-up detectors being developed so far. These array structures, nicknamed 'PUDs' for 'Pop-Up Detectors', are fabricated on 1 micrometers thick, single-crystal, silicon membranes. Their designs have been refined so we can utilize the flexibility of thin silicon films by actually folding the silicon membranes to 90 degrees in order to obtain close-packed 2D arrays. The PUD elements consist of a detector platform and two legs for mechanical support while also serving as electrical and thermal paths. Torsion bars and cantilevers connecting the detector platform to the legs provide additional flexures for strain relief. Using micro- electromechanical structure fabrication techniques, including photolithography, anisotropic chemical etching, reactive-ion etching, and laser dicing, we have fabricated PUD detector arrays of fourteen designs with a variation of four parameters including cantilever length, torsion bar length and width, and leg length. Folding test were conducted to test mechanical stress distribution for the array structures. We obtained folding yields and selected optimum design parameters to reach minimal stress levels. Computer simulation was also employed to verify mechanical behaviors of PUDs in the folding process. In addition, scanning electron microscopy was utilized to examine the flatness of detectors and the alignment of detector pixels in arrays. The fabrication of thermistor and heaters on the pop-up detectors is under way, preparing us for the next step of the experiment, the thermal test.