Fine steering mirror.
Precision laser beam steering determines the quality and bandwidth of satellite laser communications for fast and secure internet and data traffic. The Fine Steering Mirror (FSM) is crucial for this purpose. We have fully developed an FSM prototype design into an industrial product. We can manufacture this product in large numbers.
The FSMs in the optical terminals of satellites, airplanes and ground stations provide for the accurate alignment of transmitter and receiver. They are able to filter out faults caused by high-frequency disturbances. The small mirror (20 millimeter diameter; flatness within 12 nm rms) must therefore be able to move at a 1 kHz bandwidth. We have designed a light-weight, space-compatible construction that can be manufactured effectively, for this highly dynamic response mechanism. The bearing with leaf springs provides for high linearity and prevents wear. We used our in-depth competencies in the field of optics, mechanics, electronics, materials and production technology to develop the design.
The FSM’s industrialization presented us with various challenges. We were able to maintain the performance of the original design and at the same time develop a compact FSM implementation to be able to fit it into a cube satellite. Furthermore, costs had to be considerably reduced. To meet all of these requirements we made smart material choices and designed special versions of components such as an extremely efficient actuator. We also optimized manufacturability. We supply the FSMs in accordance with the European standards specifications.
“we successfully launched the FSM.”
We applied our optomechatronics and production expertise in close collaboration within the FSO consortium. This is how we managed to create an industrial product. We put each FSM through its paces using strict test protocols. They survive a launch and deliver high performance. They have since been successfully tested by multiple companies. We are now ready to supply space-qualified FSMs on a large scale.