December 13, 2005

Zeeko Technologies awarded grant to develop precision polishing technology

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Zeeko Technologies LLC, a Purdue Research Park-based company, announced today (Tuesday, Dec. 13) that it was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program grant to apply its high-precision polishing technology to space-based telescopes.

Roger Morton works with an IRP 600 polishing tool
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Large space-based telescopes utilize segmented or multiple-mirror reflectors. The $70,000 grant, awarded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will enable Zeeko to apply its Precessions technology to polish these individual mirror segments to their very edge - a condition that is not possible to achieve with traditional methods. Work on the six-month SBIR Phase I project will begin in early 2006.

"Improvements to edge-polishing technology will provide critical input to NASA studies and their future missions," said John Kelchner, Zeeko Technologies' director of research. "The ability to polish effectively to the very edge of each mirror segment will translate into a reduction in problems with image contrast and with telescope efficiency."

Zeeko's Precessions technology is a sub-aperture process developed for the precise control of form and texture in the production of aspheric and other optical surfaces. This patented process is expected to dramatically reduce production time due to its high removal rate and repeatability.

Other industries, such as biotechnology implantation and semiconductor manufacturing, also may benefit from the successful completion of this project.

About Zeeko Technologies

Zeeko Technologies, LLC is a North American spin-off of Zeeko Ltd., which has headquarters in the United Kingdom. The principal aim of the West Lafayette, Ind.-based operation is to introduce, further refine and develop additional applications for a technology that improves the polishing of freeform surfaces, such as optical surfaces. Zeeko's mission is to develop the latest technologies for controlling the form and texture of freeform engineering surfaces, thereby providing a degree of precision never before attainable by automated means.

About Purdue Research Park

Based in West Lafayette, Purdue Research Park is Indiana's first Certified Technology Park and home to the largest university-affiliated business incubator in the country as well as the greatest number of technology companies in the state. More than 190 of the park's peers at the Association of University Research Parks named Purdue Research Park the nation's top program for technology transfer (2005) and top research park (2004).

John Kelchner, Zeeko Technologies, (765) 775-1010, (765) 409-3858 (mobile), john.kelchner@zeekotechnologies.com

Jeanine Phipps, media relations, (765) 494-0748, (765) 409-2745 (mobile), jeanine@purdue.edu


Roger Morton works with an IRP 600 polishing tool from Zeeko Ltd. The company's Purdue Research Park-based spin-off, Zeeko Technologies LLC, was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from NASA to apply its high-precision polishing technology to the mirrors of space-based telescopes.

A publication-quality photo is available at http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2005/zeeko-lab.jpg

* To the Purdue Research Park web site