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Proceedings Paper

Multilayer active shell mirrors for space telescopes
Author(s): John Steeves; Kathryn Jackson; Sergio Pellegrino; David Redding; J. Kent Wallace; Samuel Case Bradford; Troy Barbee
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Paper Abstract

A novel active mirror technology based on carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) substrates and replication techniques has been developed. Multiple additional layers are implemented into the design serving various functions. Nanolaminate metal films are used to provide a high quality reflective front surface. A backing layer of thin active material is implemented to provide the surface-parallel actuation scheme. Printed electronics are used to create a custom electrode pattern and flexible routing layer. Mirrors of this design are thin (< 1.0 mm), lightweight (2.7 kg/m2), and have large actuation capabilities. These capabilities, along with the associated manufacturing processes, represent a significant change in design compared to traditional optics. Such mirrors could be used as lightweight primaries for small CubeSat-based telescopes or as meter-class segments for future large aperture observatories. Multiple mirrors can be produced under identical conditions enabling a substantial reduction in manufacturing cost and complexity.

An overview of the mirror design and manufacturing processes is presented. Predictions on the actuation performance have been made through finite element simulations demonstrating correctabilities on the order of 250-300× for astigmatic modes with only 41 independent actuators. A description of the custom metrology system used to characterize the active mirrors is also presented. The system is based on a Reverse Hartmann test and can accommodate extremely large deviations in mirror figure (> 100 μm PV) down to sub-micron precision. The system has been validated against several traditional techniques including photogrammetry and interferometry. The mirror performance has been characterized using this system, as well as closed-loop figure correction experiments on 150 mm dia. prototypes. The mirrors have demonstrated post-correction figure accuracies of 200 nm RMS (two dead actuators limiting performance).

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2016
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 99121K (22 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233594
Show Author Affiliations
John Steeves, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Kathryn Jackson, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Sergio Pellegrino, California Institute of Technology (United States)
David Redding, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
J. Kent Wallace, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Samuel Case Bradford, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Troy Barbee, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9912:
Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II
Ramón Navarro; James H. Burge, Editor(s)

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