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Proceedings Paper

Precision polyimide single surface thin film shell apertures and active boundary control
Author(s): Eric M. Flint; Jason E. Lindler; Jonathan L. Hall; Charles Rankine; Mark Reggelbrugge
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Paper Abstract

This paper discusses the current status of self supporting precision membrane optical shell technology (MOST) apertures based on thin (25 to 125 um thick) polyimide and polyester films primary shell. Optically relevant doubly curved reflective apertures are realized by inducing permanent curvature into thin substrates that can then be coated. The initial thin nature provides both very low areal density (20 to 200 grams/m2) and compatibility with compact roll stowage. The induced curvature/depth provides the ability to support the shell around the periphery at discrete locations and considerable structural and dynamic stiffness. The discrete mounts also provide an excellent location with which to improve the surface figure and to reject environmental and host structure induced errors. Material microroughness on the leading substrate/coating combination has been measured to down to 3 nm rms over small (100x100um's) sample sizes with white light interferometry. A variety of reflective coated substrates have also been shown to have sub micron rms surface roughness over up to 100mm diameter test apertures using interferometric measurements. Best materials currently have 20nm rms surface roughness noise floors at these sizes. The ability to fabricate shells over a range of prescriptions (R/0.9 to R/2.2) and a range of sizes (0.1 to 0.75m diameter) has been demonstrated. Global surface figure accuracies of 2 to 4 microns rms have been demonstrated at the 0.2m size, and further improvements are anticipated through ongoing improved fabrication techniques (preliminary results indicate sub-micron rms values). The ability of discrete boundary control to improve the shape and maintain it in the face of disturbances (gravity for example) is demonstrated as is the ability to implement high amplitude (multi-wave) Zernike mode surface figure control. Results extending boundary control to interferometric optical level are also presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6273, Optomechanical Technologies for Astronomy, 62731L (6 July 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672709
Show Author Affiliations
Eric M. Flint, Mevicon Inc. (United States)
Jason E. Lindler, Mevicon Inc. (United States)
Jonathan L. Hall, Mevicon Inc. (United States)
Charles Rankine, Rhombus CGI (United States)
Mark Reggelbrugge, Rhombus CGI (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6273:
Optomechanical Technologies for Astronomy
Eli Atad-Ettedgui; Joseph Antebi; Dietrich Lemke, Editor(s)

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