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Proceedings Paper

Ultralightweight precision optics technology
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Paper Abstract

We report on the successful development of a new ultra lightweight optics technology. Intended applications include telescopes in space, on the Moon, and adaptive optics. The technology employs a novel process of optical replication using standard industrial grade graphite fiber composite materials. Composite replication makes possible telescope mirrors that combine extremely low areal density, large aperture, high surface smoothness, and high optical quality. Fabrication times and costs have been demonstrated to be far below that of competing lightweight optics technologies. The very low areal density achieved, ranging from 1 to 5 kg/m2, makes possible multi-meter telescopes in space and on the ground. We present data on moisture absorption and outgassing, thermal expansion, thermal hysteresis, and improvement in optical figures. Applications to date include submillimeter telescopes and large optical arrays.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 2000
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4003, Optical Design, Materials, Fabrication, and Maintenance, (20 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.391530
Show Author Affiliations
Peter C. Chen, Composite Mirror Applications, Inc. (United States)
Robert C. Romeo, Composite Mirror Applications, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4003:
Optical Design, Materials, Fabrication, and Maintenance
Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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