Recent advancements in MRF technology have improved the polishing performance expected for astronomical optics in low, mid and high spatial frequency regimes. Deterministic figure correction with MRF is compatible with most materials, including some recent examples on Silicon Carbide and RSA905 Aluminum. MRF also has the ability to produce ‘perfectly-bad’ compensating surfaces, which may be used to compensate for measured or modeled optical deformation from sources such as gravity or mounting. In addition, recent advances in MRF technology allow for corrections of mid-spatial wavelengths as small as ~1mm simultaneously with form error correction. Efficient midspatial frequency corrections make use of optimized process conditions including raster polishing in combination with a small tool size. Furthermore, a novel MRF fluid, called C30, has been developed to finish surfaces to ultra-low roughness (ULR) and has been used as the low removal rate fluid required for fine figure correction of mid-spatial frequency errors. This novel MRF fluid is able to achieve <4Å RMS on Nickel-plated Aluminum and even <1.5Å RMS roughness on Silicon, Fused Silica and other materials. C30 fluid is best utilized within a fine figure correction process to target mid-spatial frequency errors as well as smooth surface roughness 'for free' all in one step.
In this paper we will discuss recent advancements in MRF technology and the ability to meet requirements for precision optics in low, mid and high spatial frequency regimes and how improved MRF performance addresses the need for achieving tight specifications required for astronomical optics.