Small Mirrors for Small Satellites: Design of the Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission CubeSat (DeMi) Payload

Ewan S. Douglas, Greg Allan, Rachel Morgan, Bobby G. Holden, Jennifer Gubner, Christian Haughwout, Paula do Vale Pereira, Yinzi Xin, John Merk, Kerri L. Cahoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (DeMi) is a technology demonstration CubeSat to test a 140 actuator micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) deformable mirror in low-Earth orbit. Such mirrors can provide precise wavefront control with low size, weight, and power per actuator. Hence, they have the potential of improving contrast in coronagraphs on future space telescopes. In the DeMi payload, a Shack Hartmann lenslet array based wavefront sensor monitors the deformable mirror, illuminated by either an internal 636 nm laser diode or external starlight. This work describes the instrument design drivers and CubeSat implementation, and briefly illustrates operation on orbit by comparing ground-based measurements of a displaced actuator to an on-orbit measurement using the internal laser source. The 6U CubeSat was launched on February 25, 2020 and deployed from the International Space Station on July 13, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number676281
JournalFrontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 26 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • CubeSats
  • MEMS
  • astrophysics
  • deformable mirror
  • space telescopes
  • wavefront control
  • wavefront sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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