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23 July 2008 Reactive atom plasma (RAP) processing of mirrors for astronomy
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Abstract
Modern day telescopes for astronomy have very complex requirements. Both ground and space based telescopes are getting much larger placing significant productivity requirements on the manufacturing processes employed. Conventional manufacturing paradigms involving mechanical abrasion have limitations related primarily to the material removal mechanisms employed. Reactive Atom Plasma (RAPTM) processing is a sub-aperture, non-contact, deterministic figuring technology performed at atmospheric pressures. The process has high material removal rates, and given the non-contact and atmospheric nature lends itself very well to scaling up for large aperture mirrors/segments. The process also benefits from its ability to simultaneously remove sub-surface damage (SSD) while imparting the desired figure to the surface. Developments are under way currently to scale the process up towards larger clear apertures while being able to figure in high spatial frequency features.
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Pradeep K. Subrahmanyan and George Gardopée "Reactive atom plasma (RAP) processing of mirrors for astronomy", Proc. SPIE 7018, Advanced Optical and Mechanical Technologies in Telescopes and Instrumentation, 701809 (23 July 2008); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.786991
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