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31 August 2009 Techniques for the manufacturing of stiff and lightweight optical mirror panels based on slumping of glass sheets: concepts and results
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In the last decade Very High Energy (VHE) gamma-ray astronomy has improved rapidly opening a new window for ground-based astronomy with surprising implications in the theoretical models. Nowadays, it is possible to make imaging, photometry and spectroscopy of sources with good sensitivity and angular resolution using new facilities as MAGIC, HESS and VERITAS. The latest results of astronomy in the TeV band obtained using such facilities demonstrate the essential role of this window for high energy astrophysics. For this reason new projects (e.g. CTA and AGIS) have been started with the aim to increase the sensitivity and expand the energy band coverage. For such telescopes arrays probably tens of thousands of optical mirror panels must be manufactured with an adequate industrial process, then tested and mounted into the telescopes. Because of the high number of mirrors it is mandatory to perform feasibility studies to test various techniques to meet the technical and cost-effectiveness requirements for the next generation TeV telescopes as CTA and AGIS. In this context at the Astronomical Observatory of Brera (INAF-OAB) we have started the investigation of different techniques for the manufacturing of stiff and lightweight optical glass mirror panels. These panels show a sandwich-like structure with two thin glass skins on both sides, the reflective one being optically shaped using an ad-hoc slumping procedure. The technologies here presented can be addressed both for primary or secondary mirrors for the next generation of Cherenkov telescopes. In this paper we present and discuss the different techniques we are investigating with some preliminary results obtained from test panels realized.
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R. Canestrari, M. Ghigo, G. Pareschi, S. Basso, G. Motta, M. Doro, E. Giro, and L. Lessio "Techniques for the manufacturing of stiff and lightweight optical mirror panels based on slumping of glass sheets: concepts and results", Proc. SPIE 7437, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IV, 743711 (31 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.826145;

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