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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

An automated system for hydroxide catalysis bonding of precision-aligned optical systems
Author(s): D. I. Robertson; W. Brzozowski; E. D. Fitzsimons; C. J. Killow; P. Parr-Burman; M. Perreur-Lloyd; D. Pearson; H. Ward; M. Wells

Paper Abstract

Precision-aligned, robust, ultra-stable optical assemblies are required in an increasing number of space-based applications such as fundamental science, metrology and geodesy. Hydroxide catalysis bonding is a proven, glue-free, technology for building such optical systems from materials such as ULE, Zerodur and fused silica. Hydroxide catalysis bonded optical systems have flown in missions such as GP-B and LISA Pathfinder achieving picometer path-length stability and microradian component stability over full mission lifetime. Component alignment and bonding was previously a largely manual process that required skilled operators and significant time. We have recently automated most of the alignment and bonding steps with the goals of improving overall precision, speed and reliability. Positioning and bonding of an optical component to within 4 microns and 10 microradians of a target position and alignment can now be reliably completed within half an hour, compared to the many hours typically taken previously. The key new features of this system are an interferometer that monitors the parallelism and separation of the surfaces to be bonded and a precision multi-axis manipulator that can optimise component alignment as it brings it down to the point of bonding. We present a description of the system and a summary of the alignment results obtained in a series of 9 test bonds. We also show how this system is being developed for integration into a precision optical manufacturing facility for assembly of large optical systems

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 1118050 (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2536099
Show Author Affiliations
D. I. Robertson, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
W. Brzozowski, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
E. D. Fitzsimons, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
C. J. Killow, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
P. Parr-Burman, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
M. Perreur-Lloyd, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
D. Pearson, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)
H. Ward, Univ. of Glasgow (United Kingdom)
M. Wells, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11180:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018
Zoran Sodnik; Nikos Karafolas; Bruno Cugny, Editor(s)

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