The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at the University of Arizona continues the production of 8.4 m lightweight honeycomb segments for the primary mirror of the Giant Magellan Telescope. GMT will have a center segment surrounded by six identical off-axis segments, plus an additional off-axis segment to allow continuous operation as segments are removed for coating. Production highlights of the last two years include the spin-casting of Segment 5, preliminary polishing of Segment 2, and completion of the rear surface processing for Segments 3 and 4. We completed a preliminary design of the significant modifications of the test systems required for Segment 4, the center segment. We finished an upgrade of the 8.4 m polishing machine; both the upgrade and experience gained with Segment 1 have contributed to much faster polishing convergence for Segment 2. Prior to polishing Segment 2, we verified the stability and accuracy of the measurement systems by re-measuring Segment 1, achieving good agreement among multiple independent tests as well as good agreement with the original acceptance tests of Segment 1.
The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at the University of Arizona is responsible for production of the eight 8.4 m segments for the primary mirror of the Giant Magellan Telescope, including one spare off-axis segment. We report on the successful casting of Segment 4, the center segment. Prior to generating the optical surface of Segment 2, we carried out a major upgrade of our 8.4 m Large Optical Generator. The upgrade includes new hardware and software to improve accuracy, safety, reliability and ease of use. We are currently carrying out an upgrade of our 8.4 m polishing machine that includes improved orbital polishing capabilities. We added and modified several components of the optical tests during the manufacture of Segment 1, and we have continued to improve the systems in preparation for Segments 2-8. We completed two projects that were prior commitments before GMT Segment 2: casting and polishing the combined primary and tertiary mirrors for the LSST, and casting and generating a 6.5 m mirror for the Tokyo Atacama Observatory.