Silicon Carbide (SiC) optical materials are being applied widely for both space based and ground based optical
telescopes. The material provides a superior weight to stiffness ratio, which is an important metric for the design and
fabrication of lightweight space telescopes. The material also has superior thermal properties with a low coefficient of
thermal expansion, and a high thermal conductivity. The thermal properties advantages are important for both space
based and ground based systems, which typically need to operate under stressing thermal conditions. The paper will
review L-3 Integrated Optical Systems – SSG’s (L-3 SSG) work in developing SiC optics and SiC optical systems for
astronomical observing systems. L-3 SSG has been fielding SiC optical components and systems for over 25 years.
Space systems described will emphasize the recently launched Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) developed
for JHU-APL and NASA-GSFC. Review of ground based applications of SiC will include supporting L-3 IOS-Brashear’s
current contract to provide the 0.65 meter diameter, aspheric SiC secondary mirror for the Advanced
Technology Solar Telescope (ATST).