Future Outlook

Optical design technology developed by the Engineering Division has, for the very first time, made optical presciptions of nonsymmetrical surfaces possible. The so-called freeform optics, fabricated by diamond turning, are being used to build a high-performance, three-mirror aluminum telescope. The telescope's larger mirrors, seen in pink and purple above, are about 15 cm in diameter.

  • Over the past year, the Laboratory began developing the next generation of weather-sensing CubeSats and worked on multiple efforts to develop deployable aperture systems for small satellites. As a result of these and other technology developments, the Laboratory expects to see significant growth in its small satellite, CubeSat, and microsatellite work in the near future.
  • New technology investments will be focused on developing a model-based engineering approach to improve the speed of program execution; adding chip-scale packages and chip-on-board assemblies to existing surface-mount circuit board assembly capabilities; and developing hierarchical, multifunctional, and thermal materials for reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) and higher-performance payloads than those built with conventional materials.
  • The Energy Systems Group’s portfolio will be expanded to include the development of more energy-efficient, portable equipment for soldiers. Integrated systems and concepts will be needed to reduce SWaP requirements and extend the energy endurance of existing devices such as batteries. Efforts across the group will involve increased collaborations with MIT campus and support to Department of Energy sponsors.
  • The Laboratory will move forward with the development of detailed design plans for the construction of a new engineering and prototyping facility.






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