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Additively manufactured mirrors for CubeSats
Author(s): Carolyn Atkins; William Brzozowski; Naomi Dobson; Maria Milanova; Stephen Todd; David Pearson; Cyril Bourgenot; David Brooks; Robert Snell; Wenjuan Sun; Peter Cooper; Simon G Alcock; Ioana-Theodora Nistea
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Paper Abstract

Additive manufacturing (AM; 3D printing) is a fabrication process that builds an object layer-upon-layer and promotes the use of structures that would not be possible via subtractive machining. Prototype AM metal mirrors are increasingly being studied in order to exploit the advantage of the broad AM design-space to develop intricate lightweight structures that are more optimised for function than traditional open-back mirror lightweighting. This paper describes a UK Space Agency funded project to design and manufacture a series of lightweighted AM mirrors to fit within a 3U CubeSat chassis. Six AM mirrors of identical design will be presented: two in aluminium (AlSi10Mg), two in nickel phosphorous (NiP) coated AlSi10Mg, and two in titanium (Ti64). For each material mirror pair, one is hand-polished and the other is diamond turned. Metrology data, surface form error and surface roughness, will be presented to compare and contrast the different materials and post-processing methods. To assess the presence of porosity, a frequent concern for AM materials, X-ray computed tomography measurements will be presented to highlight the location and density of pores within the mirror substrates; methods to mitigate the distribution of pores near the optical surface will be described. As a metric for success the AlSi10Mg + NiP and AlSi10Mg mirrors should be suitable for visible and infrared applications respectively.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2019
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 11116, Astronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems II, 1111616 (16 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2528119
Show Author Affiliations
Carolyn Atkins, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
William Brzozowski, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Naomi Dobson, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Maria Milanova, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Stephen Todd, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
David Pearson, Rutherford Appleton Lab. (United Kingdom)
Cyril Bourgenot, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
David Brooks, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Robert Snell, The Univ. of Sheffield (United Kingdom)
Wenjuan Sun, National Physical Lab. (United Kingdom)
Peter Cooper, National Physical Lab. (United Kingdom)
Simon G Alcock, Diamond Light Source Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Ioana-Theodora Nistea, Diamond Light Source Ltd. (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11116:
Astronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems II
Tony B. Hull; Dae Wook Kim; Pascal Hallibert, Editor(s)

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