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Proceedings Paper

Production of metal matrix composite mirrors for tank fire control systems
Author(s): Alan L. Geiger; Eric Ulph
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Paper Abstract

The first production lot of 50 units of metal matrix composite mirrors for the Leopard I tank fire control system was recently completed by Optical Corporation of America (OCA), Garden Grove, California. The mirror substrates were finish machined from forgings of Optical Grade SXATM metal matrix composite manufactured by Advanced Composite Materials Corporation (ACMC), Greer, South Carolina. Use of forgings rather than hot pressed billet yields more efficient use of material and reduces machining time, resulting in lower cost. The mirrors were fabricated by a process sequence of machining, thermal stabilization, electroless nickel plating, polishing, and coating with a high efficiency, laser damage-resistant optical coating. The mirrors are used in the fire control system for a day channel (direct view) and near infrared (CCD), a muzzle reference system laser transceiver, a laser range finder, and an infrared thermal imaging system. SXA composite was chosen over competitive mirror materials (glass and beryllium) because of its high specific strength and stiffness, good stability, and moderate machining cost. The mirrors exhibit excellent stability and optical performance. Field trials of prototype mirrors in fire control systems have proven successful.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1690, Design of Optical Instruments, (16 September 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.137998
Show Author Affiliations
Alan L. Geiger, Advanced Composite Materials Corp. (United States)
Eric Ulph, OCA Applied Optics, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1690:
Design of Optical Instruments
David M. Aikens; Victor L. Genberg; Gary C. Krumweide; Michael J. Thomas, Editor(s)

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