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Proceedings Paper

Iterative improvements to the surface error of a 1.7 metre aluminium reflector
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes an iterative process of surface improvements made to the central 1.7m zone of a 2.5 metre hyperbolic reflector constructed of cast and machined aluminium. Throughout all stages of the process, the mirror surface was measured using a laser tracker, with initial maps taken by scanning the tracker target over the surface at low spatial resolution. While the overall RMS of the full surface was in excess of 200 microns, the central area of interest was in excess of 60 microns. The final goal of the program was to achieve 40 microns or better in this central area. Surface maps showed a major low area on the mirror surface covering many tens of square centimeters, plus several smaller high spots. The high spots were removed progressively by sanding with an orbital sander. Frequent pauses were made to take repeat surface measurements with the tracker. A total of 22 grinding iterations were interspersed with tracker measurements at differing spatial resolutions, allowing the RMS surface error to be reduced from 63 to 35 microns best measurement. Sanding periods lasted from 15 seconds to 4 minutes at each sanding spot, while tracker measurements took approximately 15-20 minutes to acquire from 600 data points (low spatial frequency) to 6800 points at high resolution. We present details of the surface improvement program with emphasis on the assurance of metrology integrity. We discuss data fitting to the desired hyperbolic shape, sampling strategies, identification of sanding zones, and tracker performance outside of operating environment specifications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2013
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8788, Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection VIII, 87883A (13 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2020742
Show Author Affiliations
David Castro Santos, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (Mexico)
Lizeth Cabrera Cuevas, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (Mexico)
Emilio Hernandez Rios, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (Mexico)
David M. Gale, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (Mexico)
David R. Smith, Mechanical Engineering Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8788:
Optical Measurement Systems for Industrial Inspection VIII
Peter H. Lehmann; Wolfgang Osten; Armando Albertazzi, Editor(s)

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