24 September 2004 Production of the 4.1-m Zerodur mirror blank for the VISTA Telescope
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Abstract
VISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) is designed to be the world's largest wide field telescope. After finishing of the construction the telescope will be part of ESO and located in Chile close to the VLT observatory at Cerro Paranal. In November 2001 SCHOTT was selected by the VISTA project office at the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh to deliver the 4.1 m diameter primary mirror blank. The manufacturing of the mirror blank made from the zero expansion material Zerodur was challenging especially due to the f/1 design. Several tons of the glass ceramic material were removed during the grinding operation. A meniscus blank with a diameter of 4100 mm and a thickness of 171.5 mm was generated, having a large central hole of 1200 mm and an aspherical shape of the concave surface. Also the handling and turning operations needed special effort and were performed by a skilled team. This paper presents details and pictures of the corresponding production and inspection sequence at SCHOTT. The geometrical parameters were measured during manufacturing by help of a laser tracker system and the achieved parameters were compared with the initial technical specification. The final quality inspection verified the excellent quality of the mirror blank. The close co-operation between the astronomers and industry resulted in a project management without problems. In April 2003 the VISTA blank was delivered successfully within a ceremony dedicated to the anniversary of "100 years of astronomical mirror blanks from SCHOTT."
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Thorsten Doehring, Thorsten Doehring, Ralf Jedamzik, Ralf Jedamzik, Volker Wittmer, Volker Wittmer, Armin Thomas, Armin Thomas, } "Production of the 4.1-m Zerodur mirror blank for the VISTA Telescope", Proc. SPIE 5494, Optical Fabrication, Metrology, and Material Advancements for Telescopes, (24 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.551588; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.551588
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