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11 November 1999 Optical and optomechanical ultralightweight C/SiC components
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Optical and optomechanical structures based on silicon carbide (SiC) ceramics are becoming increasingly important for ultra- lightweight optical systems that must work in adverse environments. At IABG and Dornier Satellite Systems (DSS) in Munich, a special form of SiC ceramics carbon fiber reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiCR) has been developed partly under ESA and NASA contracts. C/SiCR is a light-weight, high- strength engineering material that features tunable mechanical and thermal properties. It offers exceptional design freedom due to its reduced brittleness and negligible volume shrinkage during processing in comparison to traditional, powder-based ceramics. Furthermore, its rapid fabrication process produces near-net-shape components using conventional NC machining/milling equipment and, thus, provides substantial schedule, cost, and risk savings. These characteristics allow C/SiCR to overcome many of the problems associated with more traditional optical materials. To date, C/SiCR has been used to produce ultra-lightweight mirrors and reflectors, antennas, optical benches, and monolithic and integrated reference structures for a variety of space and terrestrial applications. This paper describes the material properties, optical system and structural design aspects, the forming and manufacturing process including high-temperature joining technology, precision grinding and cladding techniques, and the performance results of a number of C/SiCR optical components we have built.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ulrich Papenburg, Wilhelm Pfrang, G. S. Kutter, Claus E. Mueller, Bernd Paul Kunkel, Michael Deyerler, and Stefan Bauereisen "Optical and optomechanical ultralightweight C/SiC components", Proc. SPIE 3782, Optical Manufacturing and Testing III, (11 November 1999);


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