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Proceedings Paper

Material selection for lightweight optical components in fieldable military optical test set
Author(s): Darell E. Engelhaupt; Anees Ahmad; George R. Lewis; Gene George
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Paper Abstract

Material selection and suitable low cost manufacturing processes for production of rugged man-portable lightweight optical test set components are described. Field requirements for an ultra lightweight optical test set comprised of an off-axis two mirror collimator plus source and detector optics mandated selection of extremely stable materials. The requirements include temporal, thermal and mechanical performance suitable for portable and transportable military applications. The environmental stability requirement includes operating over a temperature range of 130 degrees fahrenheit. Also military shock and vibration requirements for transportable equipment are imposed on the entire test set. The total weight budget is 5 pounds for the mirrors and the large supporting structure. The structure volume is only about 1% of the occupied space. A near-net fabrication process such as casting or HIP fabrication was required. A comparison of materials and manufacturing methods has resulted in the selection of a hypereutectic aluminum alloy containing 23% by weight silicon with stabilizing elements. This material can be cast and heat treated to produce uniform properties at low cost. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is much lower than other aluminum alloys and the modulus of elasticity is 50% higher. The alloy was machined with conventional tools and plated with nickel phosphorous of the same CTE to produce stable optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 October 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2269, Infrared Technology XX, (17 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.188651
Show Author Affiliations
Darell E. Engelhaupt, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
Anees Ahmad, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)
George R. Lewis, Pentastar Electronics, Inc. (United States)
Gene George, Pentastar Electronics, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2269:
Infrared Technology XX
Bjorn F. Andresen, Editor(s)

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