Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation
The Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) program is a technology demonstration for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that will provide persistent, real-time, tactical video to the war fighter. To accomplish this capability, MOIRE is incrementally demonstrating the technologies needed to develop a large lightweight space-based telescope for geosynchronous orbit using advanced diffractive membrane optics.
MOIRE plans to demonstrate the manufacturability of large collection area telescopes (up to 20 meters), large structures to hold the optics tight and flat, and also demonstrate the additional optical elements needed to turn a diffraction-based optic into a wide bandwidth imaging device.
Leveraging the company’s experience designing, manufacturing and testing large optics such as the James Webb Space Telescope and Kepler, Ball Aerospace is the prime contractor for the MOIRE program.
Ball Aerospace completed the first phase of the program during the summer 2011, where it successfully demonstrated the ability to create a diffracted optical element on a membrane. The program is now in phase 2, in which the program is designing and building a sub-aperture section of a 5 meter diameter demonstration telescope. There are five additional risk reduction options in phase 2 before the program will build a flight demonstration.
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