Large mirrors with lightweight structure, such as those used in the telescope system of astronomy or spaceborne applications, are susceptible to stress caused by fabrication process. Furthermore, both the residual stress and subsurface damage are critical for the lightweight tooling of glass materials.
In order to figure out the stress distribution on glass substrate, the photoelastic method has been applied to not only the astronomical optics but also the industrial optics of semiconductor equipment. However, there are several influence factors in photoelasticity measurement, including the structure of mirror, fabrication process, and metrology technique. The above factors may affect to the retardation result of photoelasticity measurement and cause the error of stress calculation. Therefore, it is important to clarify the retardation difference contribution to the corresponding influence factors.
In this study, we attempted to use photoelastic instrument to investigate the relationship between the photoelastic effect and stress of several kinds of lightweight mirrors. There are three different lightweight mirrors were adapted to the photoelasticity measurement, including: (1) GSO 12” Mirror with 12 inches diameter made by fused silica, (2) Primary Mirror (M1-B) of Formosat-5 with 450 mm diameter made by ZERODUR® , (3) Primary Mirror (M1) of Mircrosat with 380 mm diameter made by CLEARCERAM®-Z. The experimental results depict some obvious retardation differences caused by the certain influence factors and the details will be discussed below.
This article presents the opto-mechanical design of a primary mirror assembly of a ground-based telescope with optimization algorithm. The prototype of ground-based telescope – GSO RC16 with 16 inches diameter blank primary mirror had been manufactured in 2016. However, a telescope with a blank primary mirror is too heavy to carry on for the stargazer. Besides, deformations caused by temperature difference and gravity will do significant effect to the large aperture mirrors with high optical performance requirements. In order to reduce the weight and maintain the stiffness simultaneously, the lightweight design and mounting interface design are critical and important. There are four types of system architectures in this project, including (1) two types of lightweight mirror designs - honeycomb type segments and sector type segments; (2) two types of mounting interface designs - retainer type support and CFRP type support. The optimization results showed that (1) the lightweight ratio of the primary mirrors are greater than 70%; and (2) the PV value of the mirrors supported by optimal mounting interfaces with gravity effect as a tilt of about 45 degrees and ±20°C temperature difference effectively less than 1/4 λ.
In 2015, NSPO (National Space Organization) began to develop the sub-meter resolution optical remote sensing instrument of the next generation optical remote sensing satellite which follow-on to FORMOSAT-5. Upgraded from the Ritchey–Chrétien Cassegrain telescope optical system of FORMOSAT-5, the experimental optical system of the advanced optical remote sensing instrument was enhanced to an off-axis Korsch telescope optical system which consists of five mirrors. It contains: (1) M1: 550mm diameter aperture primary mirror, (2) M2: secondary mirror, (3) M3: off-axis tertiary mirror, (4) FM1 and FM2: two folding flat mirrors, for purpose of limiting the overall volume, reducing the mass, and providing a long focal length and excellent optical performance. By the end of 2015, we implemented several important techniques including optical system design, opto-mechanical design, FEM and multi-physics analysis and optimization system in order to do a preliminary study and begin to develop and design these large-size lightweight aspheric mirrors and flat mirrors. The lightweight mirror design and opto-mechanical interface design were completed in August 2016. We then manufactured and polished these experimental model mirrors in Taiwan; all five mirrors ware completed as spherical surfaces by the end of 2016. Aspheric figuring, assembling tests and optical alignment verification of these mirrors will be done with a Korsch telescope experimental structure model in 2018.
This paper presents the finite element and wavefront error analysis with reverse engineering of the primary mirror of a small space telescope experimental model. The experimental space telescope with 280mm diameter primary mirror has been assembled and aligned in 2011, but the measured system optical performance and wavefront error did not achieve the goal. In order to find out the root causes, static structure finite element analysis (FEA) has been applied to analyze the structure model of the primary mirror assembly. Several assuming effects which may cause deformation of the primary mirror have been proposed, such as gravity effect, flexures bonding effect, thermal expansion effect, etc. According to each assuming effect, we establish a corresponding model and boundary condition setup, and the numerical model will be analyzed by finite element method (FEM) software and opto-mechanical analysis software to obtain numerical wavefront error and Zernike polynomials. Now new assumption of the flexures bonding effect is proposed, and we adopt reverse engineering to verify this effect. Finally, the numerically synthetic system wavefront error will be compared with measured system wavefront error of the telescope. By analyzing and realizing these deformation effects of the primary mirror, the opto-mechanical design and telescope assembly workmanship will be refined, and improve the telescope optical performance.
For meeting the requirements of the high-precision telescopes, the design of collimator is essential. The diameter of the collimator should be larger than that of the target for the using of alignment. Special supporting structures are demanded to reduce the deformation of gravity and to control the surface deformation induced by the mounting force when inspecting large-aperture primary mirrors. By using finite element analysis, a ZERODUR® mirror of a diameter of 620 mm will be analyzed to obtain the deformation induced by the supporting structures. Zernike polynomials will also be adopted to fit the optical surface and separate corresponding aberrations. Through the studies under different boundary conditions and supporting positions of the inner ring, it is concluded that the optical performance will be excellent under a strong enough supporter.
Remote sensing instrument (RSI) is used to take images for ground surface observation, which will be exposed to high vacuum, high temperature difference, gravity, 15 g-force and random vibration conditions and other harsh environments during operation. While designing a RSI optical system, not only the optical quality but also the strength of mechanical structure we should be considered. As a result, an optimization method is adopted to solve this engineering problem. In the study, a ZERODUR® mirror with a diameter of 466 mm has been chosen as the model and the optimization has been executed by combining the computer-aided design, finite element analysis, and parameter optimization software. The optimization is aimed to obtain the most lightweight mirror with maintaining structural rigidity and good optical quality. Finally, the optimum optical mirror with a lightweight ratio of 0.55 is attained successfully.