9 September 2002 Advanced manufacturing technologies for light-weight post-polished snap-together reflective optical system designs
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Abstract
Fast, light weight, off-axis, aspheric, reflective optical designs are increasingly being designed and built for space-based remote sensing, fire control systems, aerial reconnaissance, cryovac instrumentation and laser scanning. Diamond point turning (DPT) is the technology of first resort for many of these applications. In many cases the best diamond machining technologies available cannot meet the desired requirements for system wavefront error and scatter. Aluminum, beryllium, AlBeMet and silicon carbide mirrors, layered with thin films of electroless nickel or silicon can be first diamond machined and then post polished to achieve greatly enhanced performance levels for surface scatter, wavefront error (WFE), and alignment registration. By application of post polishing using precise null testing techniques, the objectives of snap-together, or limited compensation alignment of aggressive reflective optical systems can be achieved that are well beyond the performance envelope achievable by diamond machining alone. This paper discusses the tradeoffs among materials and processes selection for post polished reflective systems and illustrates actual applications including telescopes for earth and Mars orbit, and a commercial, high speed, flat field scan engine.
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Michael N. Sweeney, "Advanced manufacturing technologies for light-weight post-polished snap-together reflective optical system designs", Proc. SPIE 4771, Optomechanical Design and Engineering 2002, (9 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.482154; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.482154
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