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19 July 2010 Composite panels for optical mirrors for Cherenkov Telescopes: development of the cold glass slumping technology
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Abstract
In the last decade a new window for ground-based high energy astrophysics has been opened. It explores the energy band from about 100 GeV to 10 TeV making use of Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs). Research in Very High Energy (VHE) gamma-ray astronomy is improving rapidly and thanks to the newest facilities as MAGIC, HESS and VERITAS astronomers and particle physicists are obtaining surprising implications in the theoretical models. New projects have been started as the European Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) and the U.S. Advanced Gamma-ray Imaging System (AGIS). The aim is to enhance both the sensitivity and the energy band coverage to perform imaging, photometry and spectroscopy of sources. In this framework, tens of thousands of optical mirror panels have to be manufactured, tested and mounted into the telescopes. Because of this high number of mirrors it is mandatory to develop a technique easily transferable to industrial mass production, but keeping the technical and cost-effectiveness requirements of the next generation of TeV telescopes. In this context the Astronomical Observatory of Brera (INAF-OAB) is investigating a technique for the manufacturing of stiff and lightweight glass mirror panels with modest angular resolution. These panels have a composite sandwich-like structure with two thin glass skins on both sides of a core material; the reflecting skin is optically shaped using an ad-hoc slumping procedure. The technology here presented is particularly attractive for the mass production of cost-effective mirror segments with long radius of curvature like those required in the primary mirrors of the next generation of Cherenkov telescopes. In this paper we present and discuss some relevant results we have obtained from the latest panels realized.
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R. Canestrari, G. Motta, G. Pareschi, S. Basso, M. Doro, E. Giro, and L. Lessio "Composite panels for optical mirrors for Cherenkov Telescopes: development of the cold glass slumping technology", Proc. SPIE 7739, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation, 77390H (19 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857268; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857268
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