8 September 2014 Deformable mirror designs for extreme AO (XAO)
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Abstract
One of the science missions for the next generation of extremely large ground based telescopes (30-42m apertures) is the imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets. To achieve that goal an Adaptive Optics (AO) subsystem with a very large number of corrected modes is required. To provide contrast ratios in the range of 10-9 or better for a 42m telescope an AO system with 25,000 to 60,000 channels will be needed. This is approximately an order of magnitude beyond the current state of the art. Adaptive Optics Associates Xinetics has developed the Photonex Module Deformable Mirror (DM) technology specifically to address the needs of extreme AO for high contrast applications. A Photonex Module is a monolithic block of electrostrictive ceramic in which a high density of individually addressable actuators are formed by screen printing of electrodes and partial wire saw cutting of the ceramic. The printed electrode structures also allow all electrical connections to be made at the back surface of the module via flex circuits. Actuator spacings of 1mm or less have been achieved using this approach. The individual modules can be edge butted and bonded to achieve high actuator count. The largest DMs fabricated to date have 4096 actuators in a 64X64mm array. In this paper the engineering challenges in extending this technology by a factor of ten or more in actuator count will be discussed. A conceptual design for a DM suitable for XAO will be presented. Approaches for a support structure that will maintain the low spatial frequency surface figure of this large (~0.6m) DM and for the electrical interface to the tens of thousands of actuators will be discussed. Finally, performance estimates will be presented.
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Jeffrey Cavaco, Jeffrey Cavaco, Allan Wirth, Allan Wirth, } "Deformable mirror designs for extreme AO (XAO)", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 914823 (8 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057374; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057374
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