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Proceedings Paper

Conformal optics risk reduction demonstration
Author(s): David J. Knapp; James P. Mills; Ronald G. Hegg; Patrick A. Trotta; Christopher B. Smith
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Paper Abstract

For the past three years, the Precision Conformal Optics Consortium has been developing a revolutionary new class of optics. These optics are characterized by outer window elements that conform to aerodynamic rather than optical requirements. Conformal optical elements can greatly improve the aerodynamic performance of the host platform. To make conformal optics a reality, challenges had to be overcome in design, fabrication, and testing. This was accomplished in October 1999 when Raytheon demonstrated the world's first conformal optical system. This fineness ratio one system was a risk reduction effort to develop technology for later systems. It is comprised of a calcium fluoride conformal optical dome, a TI-1173 aspheric corrector, and a calcium fluoride solid catadioptric telescope. The design involved overcoming large amounts of aberration that varied with gimbal look angle. Efforts also included aligning the system to tight tolerances and testing highly aspheric optical elements. Overall, the actual system performance compared very favorably with the design model. With the proven success of this risk reduction demonstration, the path was cleared for new higher performance conformal optical systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4375, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VII, (7 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.439170
Show Author Affiliations
David J. Knapp, Raytheon Missile Systems (United States)
James P. Mills, Raytheon Missile Systems (United States)
Ronald G. Hegg, Raytheon Electronic Systems (United States)
Patrick A. Trotta, Raytheon Missile Systems (United States)
Christopher B. Smith, Raytheon Missile Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4375:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials VII
Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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