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Proceedings Paper

ULE design considerations for a 3m class light weighted mirror blank for E-ELT M5
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Paper Abstract

It is expected that the next generation of large ground based astronomical telescopes will need large fast-steering/tip-tilt mirrors made of ultra-lightweight construction. These fast-steering mirrors are used to continuously correct for atmospheric disturbances and telescope vibrations. An example of this is the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) M5 lightweight mirror, which is part of the Tip-Tilt/Field-Stabilization Unit. The baseline design for the E-ELT M5 mirror, as presented in the E-ELT Construction Proposal, is a closed-back ULE mirror with a lightweight core using square core cells. Corning Incorporated (Corning) has a long history of manufacturing lightweight mirror blanks using ULE in a closed-back construction, going back to the 1960’s, and includes the Hubble Space Telescope primary mirror, Subaru Telescope secondary and tertiary mirrors, the Magellan I and II tertiary mirrors, and Kepler Space Telescope primary mirror, among many others. A parametric study of 1-meter class lightweight mirror designs showed that Corning’s capability to seal a continuous back sheet to a light-weighted core structure provides superior mirror rigidity, in a near-zero thermal expansion material, relative to other existing technologies in this design space. Corning has investigated the parametric performance of several design characteristics for a 3-meter class lightweight mirror blank for the E-ELT M5. Finite Element Analysis was performed on several design scenarios to obtain weight, areal density, and first Eigen frequency. This paper presents an overview of Corning ULE and lightweight mirror manufacturing capabilities, the parametric performance of design characteristics for 1-meter class and 3-meter class lightweight mirrors, as well as the manufacturing advantages and disadvantages of those characteristics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2016
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 99123F (22 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2235354
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew Fox, Corning Incorporated (United States)
Tom Hobbs, Corning Incorporated (United States)
Mary Edwards, Corning Incorporated (United States)
Matthew Arnold, Corning Incorporated (United States)
Kent Sawyer, Corning Incorporated (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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