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1 November 1991 Lightweight SXA® metal matrix composite collimator
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The U.S. Army requires very light-weight collimators for use in man-portable photonic test sets. An investigation was performed to assess the performance and producibility of optical collimators fabricated from various materials. Due to the systems requirements, a large aperture collimator is needed. A full-scale rendering has been constructed with a light- weighted aluminum primary mirror with an electroless nickel overcoat and a SXA secondary mirror and support structure. Since the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is quite different between aluminum and electroless nickel, the useful temperature range of the collimator is unacceptable. The SXA material CTE is almost the same as electroless nickel. Because of this characteristic and the unknown producibility of large-size off-axis aspheric mirrors being made of SXA, it was decided to fabricate a one-third scale rendering made entirely of SXA. Design and fabrication considerations are presented along with a weight comparison for equivalent collimators made of different materials. One observation is that a collimator made of beryllium will be less than 30% with weight of the others, although consideration of other factors must be given as well.
© (1991) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
R. Barry Johnson, Anees Ahmad, James B. Hadaway, and Alan L. Geiger "Lightweight SXA® metal matrix composite collimator", Proc. SPIE 1535, Passive Materials for Optical Elements, (1 November 1991);


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