26 May 2015 Cost-effective lightweight mirrors for aerospace and defense
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The demand for high performance, lightweight mirrors was historically driven by aerospace and defense (A&D) but now we are also seeing similar requirements for commercial applications. These applications range from aerospace-like platforms such as small unmanned aircraft for agricultural, mineral and pollutant aerial mapping to an eye tracking gimbaled mirror for optometry offices. While aerospace and defense businesses can often justify the high cost of exotic, low density materials, commercial products rarely can. Also, to obtain high performance with low overall optical system weight, aspheric surfaces are often prescribed. This may drive the manufacturing process to diamond machining thus requiring the reflective side of the mirror to be a diamond machinable material.

This paper summarizes the diamond machined finishing and coating of some high performance, lightweight designs using non-exotic substrates to achieve cost effective mirrors. The results indicate that these processes can meet typical aerospace and defense requirements but may also be competitive in some commercial applications.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kenneth S. Woodard, Kenneth S. Woodard, Lovell E. Comstock, Lovell E. Comstock, Leonard Wamboldt, Leonard Wamboldt, Brian P. Roy, Brian P. Roy, "Cost-effective lightweight mirrors for aerospace and defense", Proc. SPIE 9451, Infrared Technology and Applications XLI, 94511W (26 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2177586; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2177586

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