Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Richard G. Cobb, PhD


Current imaging satellites are limited in resolution and coverage area by the aperture size of their primary optical mirror. To get a large optical mirror into space, current launch weight and size restrictions must be overcome. Membrane-like optical mirrors can overcome these restrictions with their very lightweight and flexible properties. However, thin, deformable membrane mirrors are very susceptible to the space environment and require active control for surface stabilization and shaping. The primary goal of this research is to demonstrate that an in-plane actuated membrane-like deformable optical mirror can be controlled to optical wavelength tolerances in a closed-loop system. Fabrication and characterization of a five-inch membrane-like optical mirror is carried out based on efforts made in previous research. A data acquisition system to implement closed-loop feedback is characterized. Validity of a closed-loop control method is demonstrated with the in-plane actuated deformable mirror.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number