4D had delivered most of its Webb hardware to NASA or its prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, by 2012, he said.
Meanwhile, NASA and its contractors have used the 4D instruments on other projects including ground-based telescopes and the UA-led OSIRIS-REx mission to extract samples from an asteroid in 2020, Millerd said.
4D Technology Corp.
Engineers at Tucson-based 4D Technology test the company’s handheld InSpec precision surface measuring device on a jet engine part.
Millerd said the company developed different interferometers to measure the mirror shapes, the carbon-fiber backing structures and the alignment of the mirror segments, in super-cold cryogenic conditions.
When Webb entered its final test phase a few years ago, 4D was brought in to upgrade some of the computer systems and to support testing.
With Webb still under development, 4D rolled out a number of interferometry products and got financial backing to grow the company, which employs about 60 people at its longtime location in an industrial park on Tucson’s south side.
4D’s interferometer technology has found wide uses in aerospace applications, for customers besides NASA including major defense contractors Raytheon, L3 Harris Technologies, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, which was the prime contractor on the Webb telescope.