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27 June 2006 Manufacturing of lightweight glass segments for adaptive optics
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The next generation of large telescopes now on the drawing boards (30-100 m. diam) will need adaptive optics to deliver their full potential. Today the thin glass meniscus necessaries for example for the adaptive secondary mirrors are produced by tinning conventional thick mirrors: a technique expensive and time consuming. A cost effective technique for the manufacturing of these components is here proposed that will deliver thin (few mm) lightweight optics made in glass. The technique under investigation foresees the thermal slumping of thin glass segments using a high quality ceramic mold (master). The sheet of glass is placed onto the mold and then, by means of a suitable thermal cycle, the glass is softened and its shape is changed copying the master shape. At the end of the slumping the correction of the remaining errors will be performed using the Ion Beam Figuring technique, a non-contact deterministic technique. To reduce the time spent for the correction it will be necessary to have shape errors on the segments after the slumping as small as possible. To investigate this technique INAF-OAB (Astronomical Observatory of Brera) is building the necessaries facilities, in particular the oven and mold for the slumping and the Ion Beam Figuring system. The paper describes the process of production of the optical segments and the status of the investigation.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. Ghigo, S. Basso, O. Citterio, F. Mazzoleni, and D. Vernani "Manufacturing of lightweight glass segments for adaptive optics", Proc. SPIE 6272, Advances in Adaptive Optics II, 62720X (27 June 2006);


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