22 July 2010 Surface measurements of radio antenna panels with white-light interferometry
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Typical radio telescopes have the primary reflector surface which is composed of several single panels that have dimensions of a meter a side. The manufacturing of these radio panels yield a micrometric precision over the volume on the single panel, hence the surface roughness of the panels can be measured with very high accuracy by means of the low coherence interferometry (LCI) technique which reaches micrometric spatial and depth resolution and has the advantage of being contact-less. We have developed a multi-channel partially coherent light interferometer to realize non contact 3D surface topography. The technique is based on the LCI principle, for which a bi-dimensional sensor - a CMOS - has been developed to directly acquire images. Tri-dimensional measures are recovered with a single scanning along the depth direction in a millimetric range, and every single pixel of the bi-dimensional sensor measures a point on the object, this allows a fast analysis in real time on square centimeter areas. In this paper we show the results obtained by applying the LCI technique method to analyze the surface roughness of the panels of a large radio antenna of 64 m of width and used for astronomical observations at 100 GHz; by measuring their 3D structure at micrometric resolution it is possible to verify their fabrication errors.
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S. Chinellato, S. Chinellato, C. Pernechele, C. Pernechele, S. Carmignato, S. Carmignato, F. Manzan, F. Manzan, } "Surface measurements of radio antenna panels with white-light interferometry", Proc. SPIE 7739, Modern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation, 77392T (22 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857131; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.857131

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