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11 November 1996 Developmental history and trends for reaction-bonded silicon carbide mirrors
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During the decade of the 1980's, silicon carbide was funded primarily as the water cooled mirror material for the future and secondarily as a lightweight tactical alternative to beryllium and glass. With the perceived deployment of Star Wars, the payoff for the silicon carbide investment was imminent. Wrong assumption. The emphasis shifted from cooled optics to lightweight, uncooled optics and structures during the early 1990's. CERAFORM SiC became more attractive as a mirror material as the forming process produced lighter, closed back mirrors and a polishing process was developed to finish the bare material to 10 angstroms rms. Cost became the major limitation to penetrating commercial markets and with the defense cut-backs in 1993 UTOS ceases operations. The facilities and intellectual property associated with CERAFORM was at the mercy of bean counters. In March 1995 Xintics officially purchased form the United Technologies Corporation all intellectual property including patents, processes, proposals, engineering notebook, and trademarks pertaining to CERAFORM SiC. In a subsequent deal, part of the furnace facility was also obtained.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Mark A. Ealey and Gerald Q. Weaver "Developmental history and trends for reaction-bonded silicon carbide mirrors", Proc. SPIE 2857, Advanced Materials for Optical and Precision Structures, (11 November 1996);


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