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24 September 2004 Freeform diamond machining of complex monolithic metal optics for integral field systems
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Implementation of the optical designs of image slicing Integral Field Systems requires accurate alignment of a large number of small (and therefore difficult to manipulate) optical components. In order to facilitate the integration of these complex systems, the Astronomical Instrumentation Group (AIG) of the University of Durham, in collaboration with the Labor für Mikrozerspanung (Laboratory for Precision Machining - LFM) of the University of Bremen, have developed a technique for fabricating monolithic multi-faceted mirror arrays using freeform diamond machining. Using this technique, the inherent accuracy of the diamond machining equipment is exploited to achieve the required relative alignment accuracy of the facets, as well as an excellent optical surface quality for each individual facet. Monolithic arrays manufactured using this freeform diamond machining technique were successfully applied in the Integral Field Unit for the GEMINI Near-InfraRed Spectrograph (GNIRS IFU), which was recently installed at GEMINI South. Details of their fabrication process and optical performance are presented in this paper. In addition, the direction of current development work, conducted under the auspices of the Durham Instrumentation R&D Program supported by the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), will be discussed. The main emphasis of this research is to improve further the optical performance of diamond machined components, as well as to streamline the production and quality control processes with a view to making this technique suitable for multi-IFU instruments such as KMOS etc., which require series production of large quantities of optical components.
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Cornelis M. Dubbeldam, David J. Robertson, and Werner Preuss "Freeform diamond machining of complex monolithic metal optics for integral field systems", Proc. SPIE 5494, Optical Fabrication, Metrology, and Material Advancements for Telescopes, (24 September 2004);

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