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16 September 2019 Additively manufactured mirrors for CubeSats
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Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM; 3D printing) is a fabrication process that builds an object layer-upon-layer and promotes the use of structures that would not be possible via subtractive machining. Prototype AM metal mirrors are increasingly being studied in order to exploit the advantage of the broad AM design-space to develop intricate lightweight structures that are more optimised for function than traditional open-back mirror lightweighting. This paper describes a UK Space Agency funded project to design and manufacture a series of lightweighted AM mirrors to fit within a 3U CubeSat chassis. Six AM mirrors of identical design will be presented: two in aluminium (AlSi10Mg), two in nickel phosphorous (NiP) coated AlSi10Mg, and two in titanium (Ti64). For each material mirror pair, one is hand-polished and the other is diamond turned. Metrology data, surface form error and surface roughness, will be presented to compare and contrast the different materials and post-processing methods. To assess the presence of porosity, a frequent concern for AM materials, X-ray computed tomography measurements will be presented to highlight the location and density of pores within the mirror substrates; methods to mitigate the distribution of pores near the optical surface will be described. As a metric for success the AlSi10Mg + NiP and AlSi10Mg mirrors should be suitable for visible and infrared applications respectively.
Conference Presentation
© (2019) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Carolyn Atkins, William Brzozowski, Naomi Dobson, Maria Milanova, Stephen Todd, David Pearson, Cyril Bourgenot, David Brooks, Robert Snell, Wenjuan Sun, Peter Cooper, Simon G Alcock, and Ioana-Theodora Nistea "Additively manufactured mirrors for CubeSats", Proc. SPIE 11116, Astronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems II, 1111616 (16 September 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2528119
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