We report new developments in lightweight optics and active figure control. The technology uses high performance graphite fiber reinforced cyanate ester composite materials to make extremely low areal density telescope mirrors for space, ground, and commercial applications. The mirrors have surface microroughness <10 angstrom rms, areal density of 1 to 10 kg per sq. m, and apertures 1 m and larger. As-manufactured figure accuracy of 1/10 wave rms at 632.8 nm has been achieved. The mirror substrate can be made in a wide range of thickness and stiffness. This permits matching a mirror to a particular set of actuators for active figure control and adaptive optics. Using computer-controlled actuators and a small 8-armed warping harness, we have demonstrated ability to control astigmatism, coma, and spherical aberration. We report first light with a 15 cm f/8 lightweight all-composite Newtonian telescope.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #195
- Pub Date:
- May 2000