FLUTE – Fluidic Telescope Experiment

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

NASA Ames Research Center

Prof. Moran Bercovici - Dr. Edward Balaban

The experiment aims to mature our fluidic shaping technology and demonstrate its potential for next-generation large space telescopes

Fluidic Telescope Experiment (FLUTE) is a joint project between Technion and NASA that aims to enable — for the first time — the fabrication of optical components in space. Leveraging the physics of fluids under microgravity, we aim to demonstrate that liquids can be shaped into desired optical elements with an optical quality that rivals the best Earth-based methods. Successful implementation of the project would revolutionize in-space manufacturing, and among other applications, is expected to lead to space telescopes with apertures of tens of meters — an order of magnitude larger than any existing telescope, allowing, for instance, direct imaging of extrasolar planets.

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