Problem: Deep space-based research by NASA called for a high energy solar
that could focus from 3.5” to a faceted point over a 12” length.
Designers had initially tried sapphire as the material best suited to
application. However, it failed under Beta tests so NASA turned to a
silica material but needed precise machining to ensure accuracy.
Solution: NASA turned to Insaco. With over 60 years experience in diamond grinding and
polishing sapphire as well as chemo-mechanically finishing
intricate parts from fused silica and quartz, Insaco’s expertise in
to extreme tight tolerances – without bias to a particular material –
made the choice simple.
Result: NASA selected a special grade of fused silica and contracted with Insaco for the precision machining.
Specifications for the complex polish and edge radii, as well as the production feasibility for
this intricate and critical part, were successfully accomplished by Insaco and completed on time
and on budget, saving NASA valuable time to get the solar concentrator up in space quickly.