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Boston Micromachines Unveils Major Enhancement to Kilo-DM
New Deformable Mirror Controller Meets Challenging Requirements for Astronomy and Laser Communication

Cambridge, Mass., April 30, 2008– Boston Micromachines Corporation, a leading provider of MEMS-based deformable mirror (DM) products for adaptive optics systems, today announced a new high speed, high precision controller for its Kilo-DM.  This new controller will provide major enhancements to the 1020 actuator deformable mirror system used for high performance wavefront control.

“This high speed Kilo-DM Controller is ten times faster and eight times more compact than the preceding version,” said Paul Bierden, president and CEO of Boston Micromachines.  “In addition, its improved resolution provides sub-nanometer control over surfaces to create high precision shapes for imaging.  These technical advancements will enable innovation that will have far-reaching impact within the laser communication and astronomy fields.”

The Kilo-DM Controller addresses a major challenge faced by astronomers and defense organizations that need to correct for highly turbulent atmospheric aberrations.  The new controller moves the Kilo-DM’s actuators at a high speed with high precision providing the necessary wavefront control to correct for the atmospheric aberrations and compensate for the turbulence.  

In telescopes, astronomers use the Kilo-DM to correct aberrations in the atmosphere to achieve better images of stars and distant galaxies.  “We recently purchased the Kilo-DM to help us build a high performance adaptive optics coronagraph to image planets around other stars with the Subaru Telescope,” said Dr. Olivier Guyon, Astronomer, Subaru Telescope. “The systems is a perfect match to our requirements, most importantly high speed, and being able to purchase a full DM with drive electronics is extremely valuable."

Long range laser communication systems used by defense organizations are limited in their speed and fidelity by interference effects caused by turbulence in the air between the sending and receiving nodes.  In laser communication, scientists use the Kilo-DM to correct wavefront aberration through a turbulent-air medium to improve point-to-point communication.

The Kilo-DM Controller is an enabling component for rapid, high precision wavefront control, with its speed of 10kHz and resolution greater than 14 bits translating to a step-resolution of less than one nanometer.

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