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Optical Engineering

Design and development of a freeform active mirror for an astronomy application
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Paper Abstract

The advent of extremely large telescopes will bring unprecedented light-collecting power and spatial resolution, but it will also lead to a significant increase in the size and complexity of focal-plane instruments. The use of freeform mirrors could drastically reduce the number of components in optical systems. Currently, manufacturing issues limit the common use of freeform mirrors at short wavelengths. This article outlines the use of freeform mirrors in astronomical instruments with a description of two efficient freeform optical systems. A new manufacturing method is presented which seeks to overcome the manufacturing issues through hydroforming of thin polished substrates. A specific design of an active array is detailed, which will compensate for residual manufacturing errors, thermoelastic deformation, and gravity-induced errors during observations. The combined hydroformed mirror and the active array comprise the Freeform Active Mirror Experiment, which will produce an accurate, compact, and stable freeform optics dedicated to visible and near-infrared observations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 January 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Opt. Eng. 53(3) 031311 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.53.3.031311
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 53, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Zalpha Challita, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Tibor Agócs, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Emmanuel Hugot, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Attila Jaskó, MTA Research Ctr. for Astronomy and Earth Sciences (Hungary)
Gabby Kroes, ASTRON (Netherlands)
William Taylor, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Chris Miller, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Hermine Schnetler, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Lars Venema, ASTRON (Netherlands)
László Mosoni, Konkoly Observatory (Hungary)
David Le Mignant, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Marc Ferrari, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)
Jean-Gabriel Cuby, Lab. d'Astrophysique de Marseille (France)

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