Unique as an optical component, the deformable mirror must have a quality optical surface which can be contoured and controlled to a fraction of wavelength of light. The key element is the actuator. The actuator must provide precision motion for nanometer wavefront control and provide a stable structure for high quality optical figure. It must be dimensionally stable in terms of both time and temperature. Being in a dynamic environment, it must also withstand high tensile loads and high cycle fatigue. Despite its mechanical, optical, and electrical functions, it simply must work when the voltage is applied during any season and for any reason.