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27 December 2001 Design manufacture and test of a cryo-stable Offner relay using aluminum foam core optics
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Aluminum foam core optics have the desirable characteristics of being lightweight, cryo-stable, and low cost. The availability of high quality aluminum foam and a bare aluminum super-polishing process have allowed high performance foam core optics made entirely of aluminum to be produced. Mirrors with integral mounts were designed for minimum surface error induced by self-weight deflection, thermal gradients, and mounting stresses. The design of the optics was extensively optimized using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Geometric Element Analysis (GEA) to determine the effects of design parameters on mirror performance under the anticipated operating environments. A unique manufacturing process was developed to accommodate the aluminum brazing process used to install the aluminum foam while maintaining dimensional stability. Aluminum foam core optics have the additional advantage of being fabricated from a common aerospace structural material. An Offner relay using all aluminum optics and structure will be manufactured and tested with the goal of demonstrating that an all aluminum optical system can be aligned at room temperature and maintain alignment at cryogenic temperatures due to near zero CTE mismatch between all system components. If successful, an all aluminum Offner relay has potential uses for NGST, specifically in the testing of micro-mirror arrays.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ryan S. McClelland and David A. Content "Design manufacture and test of a cryo-stable Offner relay using aluminum foam core optics", Proc. SPIE 4451, Optical Manufacturing and Testing IV, (27 December 2001);

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