NASA licensing wavefront sensing technology from the Webb Telescope

Aug. 2, 2011
Washington, DC--With construction of the James Webb Space Telescope underway, NASA is licensing its wavefront sensing and adaptive optics technologies.

Washington, DC—With construction of the James Webb Space Telescope underway, the Innovative Partnerships Program Office (IPPO) at NASA is licensing the wavefront sensing and adaptive optics technologies, procedures, and lab equipment from this program to private industry through its "Can you See it Now?" campaign.

The Webb telescope, which will be the most scientifically powerful telescope NASA has ever built--100 times more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope, is already providing technology expertise in other areas beyond analysis of the universe. "The advanced wavefront sensing technology developed for testing the Webb telescope's 18 primary mirrors led to the new applications in other areas," said Tony Hull of L3 Integrated Optical Systems Division-Tinsley Facility (Richmond, CA), where the Webb's mirrors were recently polished to accuracies of less than one millionth of an inch.

A new "scanning and stitching" technology developed for the Webb telescope led to a number of innovative ophthalmic instrument concepts for more accurate measurement for contact lenses and intra-ocular lenses. Another benefit to eye health is that this technique can help "map" the topography of the eye more accurately. "The technology also provides more accurate eye measurements for people about to undergo Laser Refractive Surgery," said Dan Neal, research fellow at Abbott Medical Optics (Albuquerque, NM). "To date 10-12 million eyes have been treated with Lasik procedures in the U.S. alone. As technology improves, so does the quality of these procedures."

SOURCE: NASA; www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/webb-eyes.html

Posted by:Gail OvertonSubscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; It’s free! Follow us on TwitterFollow OptoIQ on your iPhone. Download the free App here

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