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Optical Engineering • Open Access

New paradigm for rapid production of large precision optics: frozen membrane mirror technology
Author(s): Michael Lieber; Stephen E. Kendrick; Sarah Lipscy; Dennis Ebbets; Scott Acton; Scott Knight

Paper Abstract

Traditional mirror manufacturing, particularly for astronomical purposes, requires substantial lead time, due to the nature of the materials and the grinding/polishing process. We propose a new technique for rapid, low-cost production of large, lightweight precision optics by fusing several technologies which in combination we call frozen membrane mirror technology (FMMT). FMMT combines well-understood subsystem technologies, including electrostatic control of membrane mirrors, adaptive optics, wavefront sensing and control, and inflatable structures technology to shorten production time. The basic technique is to control the surface of a reflective coated membrane mirror with electrostatic actuation and wavefront sensor feedback and freeze the membrane shape. We discuss the details of the concept and present results of early lab testing. We focus on the optical regime, but this technology has applicability from the microwave to x-ray spectral bands. Starting with a flexible membrane mirror, one can envision techniques for deployment of large apertures in space.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2013
PDF: 9 pages
Opt. Eng. 52(9) 091810 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.9.091810
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 52, Issue 9
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Lieber, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Stephen E. Kendrick, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Sarah Lipscy, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Dennis Ebbets, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Scott Acton, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Scott Knight, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)

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