On-Orbit Operations Summary for the Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (DeMi) CubeSat

Rachel E. Morgan, Sophia K. Vlahakis, Ewan S. Douglas, Greg Allan, Paula do Vale Pereira, Mark Egan, Gabor Furesz, Jennifer N. Gubner, Christian Haughwout, Bobby Holden, John Merk, Thomas Murphy, Leonid Pogorelyuk, Danilo Roascio, Yinzi Xin, Kerri L. Cahoy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) Deformable Mirrors (DMs) are a key technology option for adaptive optics instruments for space applications because they provide high-precision wavefront control with small form-factor, low-power devices. The Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (DeMi) CubeSat demonstrated a MEMS DM in space for the first time in order to raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the technology for future space applications such as high-contrast imaging of exoplanets and optical communications. The DeMi payload demonstrated a 140-actuator MEMS DM from Boston Micromachines Corporation. DM performance was measured with a Shack Hartmann wavefront sensor (SHWFS). The DeMi CubeSat began on-orbit operations in July 2020 and has since met the mission goals of measuring individual actuator displacements to a precision of 12 nm and correcting wavefront errors in space to <100 nm RMS error. The DeMi mission has raised the TRL of MEMS DM technology from a 5 to a 9. This paper summarizes the DeMi payload design and the results from over a year of on-orbit operations. Individual actuator measurements from ground and space operations show the MEMS DM actuating in space with similar performance and measurement uncertainty to ground data with no dead or under-actuating actuators detected. Wavefront control experiments show the DeMi payload correcting thermal- and vibration-induced wavefront errors in space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems VIII
EditorsLaura Schreiber, Dirk Schmidt, Elise Vernet
ISBN (Electronic)9781510653511
StatePublished - 2022
EventAdaptive Optics Systems VIII 2022 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Jul 17 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdaptive Optics Systems VIII 2022


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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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