AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 8. Instruments for HST and NGST
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[8.10] Microshutter Arrays for the NGST NIRSpec

M. Harvey, S. Aslam, K.A. Blumenstock (GSFC/NASA), R.K. Fettig, D.E. Franz (RITSS/GSFC/NASA), A.S. Kutyrev (SSAI/GSFC/NASA), J. Laughlin, M.J. Li, S.H. Moseley, D.B. Mott (GSFC/NASA), D.A. Rapchun (GST/NASA/GSFC), D.S. Schwinger, S. Manthripragada, R.P. Wesenberg, Y. Zheng (GSFC/NASA)

We are developing a programmable multiobject field selector for the NGST NIRSpec. This device is a microshutter array, a close-packed 2000 x 2000 array of 100\mum x 100 \mum shutters fabricated with Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technologies. The shutters are opened using a magnet scanned over the array. The shutters are held open by electrostatic potentials on adjacent vertical electrodes.

Modeling of the magnetic actuation of the microshutters allowed optimization of the magnetic field configuration, the distance between magnet and shutters, and the force and torque produced by the magnet. The results of laboratory tests are consistent with our modeling. We have demonstrated actuation, latching and addressing. We are able to rotate shutters out of the plane up to 90 degree and more, to latch them electrostatically to the walls and release them selectively.

During the last six month all critical elements of the array have been demonstrated. Fabrication processes were developed to deposit vertical electrodes on support grid side walls and insulated light-shields that block the gaps between shutters and the support grid.

Physical optics analysis was performed to assess the expected optical performance of the microshutters. A preliminary Fourier optics analysis on the microshutter array performance has been carried out. More detailed analysis of wave propagation through 3D structures is a next step. An optical test station for verifying optical parameters of the shutter array at room temperature has been developed. It allows to measure parameters, such as transmission, scattering, contrast ratio, and diffraction of the array structure. Initial data have been acquired and are being analyzed and compared to theoretical predictions.

This project is supported by NASA funding.

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

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