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Proceedings Paper

Deterministic precision finishing of domes and conformal optics
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Paper Abstract

In order to enhance missile performance, future window and dome designs will incorporate shapes with improved aerodynamic performance compared with the more traditional flats and spheres. Due to their constantly changing curvature and steep slopes, these shapes are incompatible with most conventional polishing and metrology solutions. Two types of a novel polishing technology, Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF®) and Magnetorheological (MR) Jet, could enable cost-effective manufacturing of free-form optical surfaces. MRF, a deterministic sub-aperture magnetically assisted polishing method, has been developed to overcome many of the fundamental limitations of traditional finishing. MRF has demonstrated the ability to produce complex optical surfaces with accuracies better than 30 nm peak-to-valley (PV) and surface micro-roughness less than 1 nm rms on a wide variety of optical glasses, single crystals, and glass-ceramics. The polishing tool in MRF perfectly conforms to the optical surface making it well suited for finishing this class of optics. A newly developed magnetically assisted finishing method MR JetTM, addresses the challenge of finishing the inside of steep concave domes and other irregular shapes. An applied magnetic field coupled with the properties of the MR fluid allow for stable removal rate with stand-off distances of tens of centimeters. Surface figure and roughness values similar to traditional MRF have been demonstrated. Combining these technologies with metrology techniques, such as Sub-aperture Stitching Interferometer (SSI®) and Asphere Stitching Interferometer (ASI®), enable higher precision finishing of the windows and domes today, as well as the finishing of future conformal designs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 May 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5786, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials IX, (18 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.607456
Show Author Affiliations
Aric Shorey, QED Technologies (United States)
William Kordonski, QED Technologies (United States)
Marc Tricard, QED Technologies (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5786:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials IX
Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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