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25 July 2008 Enabling materials and processes for large aerospace mirrors
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The use of monolithic glass to produce large, rigid segmented members for lightweight space-based mirror systems appears to have reached its limits due to the long production lead times, high processing costs, and launch load/weight requirements. New material solutions and processes are required to meet the US Air Force's optical needs for directed energy, reconnaissance/surveillance, and communications. Mirror structural substrates made out of advanced materials (metal, ceramic, and polymer), composites, foams, and microsphere arrays should allow for CTE and modulus tailorability, low-density, and high values in strength, stiffness, thermal conductivity and toughness. Conventional mechanical polishing to visual specifications for figure and surface finish roughness requirements will be difficult, due to the multi-phase complexities of these new systems. Advances in surface removal technologies as well as replication processes will be required to produce the required optical finishes with reduced schedule and cost. In this paper selected material and process solutions being considered will be discussed.
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Lawrence E. Matson and Ming Y. Chen "Enabling materials and processes for large aerospace mirrors", Proc. SPIE 7018, Advanced Optical and Mechanical Technologies in Telescopes and Instrumentation, 70180L (25 July 2008);

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