The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint American-German project dedicated to performing IR astronomy on board a Boeing Aircraft, in near space condition. First flight of the Observatory is planned for 2003. The REOSC Products Unit of SAGEM SA (France) has been contracted by Kayser Threde (Germany) for the design and fabrication of the 2.7-meter diameter, F/1.19 parabolic lightweight SOFIA primary mirror as well as the M3 dichroic and folding mirror assembly. This paper will report the design, fabrication and test of the lightweight primary mirror. The mirror structure has been obtained by machining it out from a solid Zerodur blank. It is the world's largest of this type today. Axial and lateral mirror support system has been conceptually designed and engineered by SAGEM-REOSC engineers in relation with Kayser Threde team. The optical surface is an F/1.19 parabola polished to a high level of quality.
"SOFIA primary mirror fabrication and testing", Proc. SPIE 4451, Optical Manufacturing and Testing IV, (27 December 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.453610; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.453610