AAS 197, January 2001
Session 14. New Space Missions and Instrumentation
Display, Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 14] | [Next]

[14.01] Microshutter arrays for the NGST MOS

A.S. Kutyrev, R.K. Fettig, M.J. Li (RITSS, NASA/GSFC), S.H. Moseley, D.B. Mott, B.E. Woodgate (NASA/GSFC)

We are developing a two-dimensional array of square microshutters (programmable aperture mask) for a multi-object spectrometer for the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST). This device will provide random access selection of the areas in the field to be studied. The device is in essence a close packed array of square slits, each of which can be opened independently to select areas of the sky for detailed study.The device is produced using a 100 \micron ~thick silicon wafer as a substrate with 0.5 \micron ~thick silicon nitride shutters on top of it. Silicon nitride has been selected as the blade and flexure material because its stiffness allows thinner and lighter structures than single crystal Si, the chief alternative, and because of its ease of manufacture. The 100 \micron ~silicon wafer is backetched in a high aspect ratio Deep Reactive Ion Etching (Deep RIE) to leave only a support grid for the shutters and the address electronics.

We are currently working on three key aspects: the optimization of the photolithographic micromachining process, the shutter selection electronics, and the translation mechanism required to open the shutters. Microshutter arrays of 128\times128 have been produced with good reliability of the fabrication process and good quality of the microshutters. The selection circuitry is embedded in the frame around the shutters to allow individual shutter selection. It has been designed and modeled for operation at cryogenic temperatures. The element addressing is essentially a Dynamic Random Access Memory (RAM) scheme, which allows very compact design of the electronics on the array. Finally, the mechanical behavior and optical performance of the fabricated arrays at cryogenic temperature are being studied.

This project is funded by NASA.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://bram.gsfc.nasa.gov/ms_webpage/ms_animation.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: kutyrev@gsfc.nasa.gov

[Previous] | [Session 14] | [Next]