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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems • Open Access

Carbon nanotube optical mirrors
Author(s): Peter C. Chen; Douglas M. Rabin

Paper Abstract

We report the fabrication of imaging quality optical mirrors with smooth surfaces using carbon nanotubes (CNT) embedded in an epoxy matrix. CNT/epoxy is a multifunctional composite material that has sensing capabilities and can be made to incorporate self-actuation. Moreover, as the precursor is a low density liquid, large and lightweight mirrors can be fabricated by processes such as replication, spincasting, and three-dimensional printing. Therefore, the technology holds promise for the development of a new generation of lightweight, compact “smart” telescope mirrors with figure sensing and active or adaptive figure control. We report on measurements made of optical and mechanical characteristics, active optics experiments, and numerical modeling. We discuss possible paths for future development.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 November 2014
PDF: 6 pages
J. Astron. Telesc. Instrum. Syst. 1(1) 014005 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.1.1.014005
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 1, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Peter C. Chen, Lightweight Telescopes, Inc. (United States)
Catholic Univ. of America (United States)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Douglas M. Rabin, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

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