Catenary Cable

Precision MicroFab is the sole source supplier for the arching Sunshield Catenary Cables for NASA’s James Webb Telescope. The James Webb was design to be the replacement for the current Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. These cables stretch the Sunshield membrane and keep the telescope’s infrared detector cool enough to observe the very beginnings of the Universe.

Each cable goes through a rigorous process starting with their fabrication and finishing with a highly detailed inspection. The cables are laser cut from rolls of 50 μm thick stainless steel and Invar. After they are cut, they are extented their full length for a meticulous inspection process to meet stringent NASA specifications.

James Webb Telescope Sunshield Deployment Animation

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Laser cutting
laser cutting