Fast-Steering Mirrors


Ball Aerospace FSMs range from a few mm to 0.5 meter. Custom FSMs can have three axes of control, tip, tilt and piston, or reaction cancellation to eliminate exported vibration.

Fast Steering Mirrors (FSMs) have become key components in diverse applications spanning from high value space assets to tactical military hardware and industrial instrumentation. They range in size from a few millimeters to a half meter. Ball Aerospace FSMs are a key component on the James Webb Space Telescope that will image the edge of the known universe, and the large aircraft infra-red countermeasure pod that protects aircraft and troops flying in and out of hostile territory.

An FSM can be used to perform a variety of functions including tracking, scanning, pointing, line of sight stabilization, and alignment.

FSMs are used for image motion control to stare at a scene while the platform moves and then rapidly reposition the line sight during the focal plane readout period. The FSM will continuously correct for environmental disturbances such as air turbulence or vehicle vibrations.

Ball Aerospace has successfully refined its FSM technology over the past 25 years. This has resulted in advances in the optic, the motors that move it, the feedback sensors that determine mirror position, and the control system that ties it all together.

Guardian FSM

Tactical FSMs built by Ball Aerospace are currently protecting large military aircraft around the world from missile attacks during take-off and landing.

Ball Aerospace’s design features a unique flexure suspension that avoids transferring the forces of dissimilar metal expansion to the mirror surface figure. A non-contacting sensor system measures mirror angular displacement providing a highly linear relationship between the geometrical displacement and sensor signal. Custom coatings for the mirror are available and include gold, silver, and dielectrics.

Our standard digital controller is configurable to any of our FSMs, our gimbals and your mission.

Custom and state-of-the-art FSMs built to demanding specifications are core strengths for Ball Aerospace.


Satellites & Spacecraft

BCP Family

Specialty Spacecraft

Instruments & Sensors

Electro-optical Sensors

Tactical Electro-Optical

Advanced Imaging

Cryogen Fuel Storage

Pointing & Tracking Mechanisms

Tactical Laser Applications

Technical Services

Antennas & Microwave Systems


Conformal Antennas

Low Observable Antennas

Phased Arrays

Reflector Antennas

RF Subsystems

Silhouette Antennas

Tactical Antennas

Aerospace Technology
& Components

Ball InfraRed Black Coating

Fast-steering Mirrors

Star Trackers

Laser Applications


Vac Kote Lubricants