Precision MicroFab is the sole source supplier for the long, arching Sunshield Catenary Cables for NASA’s James Webb Telescope. The James Webb will replace the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our cables stretch the Sunshield membrane and keep the telescope’s infrared detector cool enough to observe the very beginnings of the Universe.
First, we built a custom laser system to cut the cables. Then cables were laser cut from rolls of 50 μm thick stainless steel and Invar, so we built a reel-to-reel fixture for material handling. After they were cut, they were extended their full length for a meticulous inspection process to meet the stringent NASA specifications.