This paper describes the development of a new manufacturing process to directly obtain off-axis parabolas (OAP) by combining 3D printing and stress polishing. 3D printing opens up a new vision for optics fabrication by providing innovative lightweight structures which are not fabricable with traditional mechanical manufacturing. It also provides a new range of materials covering plastic up to metal through composite materials and ceramics.
The direct imaging of exoplanets using coronagraphic instruments provides a good example of an astronomical application that can greatly benefit from such developments. Exoplanets imaging is very demanding in terms of optical surface quality, however, the majority of coronagraphic instruments use off axis optics, which manufacturing of such optics could present some drawbacks: either the optics are cut out of a parent large mirror, resulting in a material loss, or the surfaces are machined with sub-aperture tools, resulting in high spatial frequency ripples which must be avoided for this application.
Thanks to 3D printing and topology optimisation we created an innovative warping harness design which can generate any off axis parabola shapes with only one actuator. We optimised the harness thickness distribution in order to reach non symmetrical deformation composed of astigmatism and coma. The warping is applied by micrometric screws and the high transmission factor of the system allows to keep stable the final error budget despite the error introduced by the warping harness fabricated by 3D printing. Several warping harness designs and materials were explored for the prototyping phase. This study is part of WFIRST satellite which will be launch in 2024 by NASA to observe galaxies via a wide field instrument and also perform exoplanet direct imaging via coronagraph. In the case of the WFIRST coronagraphic instrument, eight off axis parabolas are used to relay the beam from one pupil to another. We present the first prototyping results dedicated to the WFIRST off axis parabolas. Deformation surface results are performed by interferometric measurements and compared to Finite Element Analysis predictions.
Earth observation space instruments require very tight optical performances in the most stringent configuration (observation in the optical wavelengths range). The optical quality of mirrors, mainly in term of both shape and roughness polishing quality, has to reach very tight specifications down to a few nanometers. In this paper, we present a new manufacturing process, based on Stress-Mirror Polishing (SMP) technique, dedicated to lightweight mirrors aspherisation. We consider specific features or constraints due to the structure of the honeycomb, while reducing footprint effects and inhomogeneous surface effects. We also identify the most efficient way to correct and/or anticipate these issues taking into account industrial constraints on real-scale mirrors. In this new process, both SMP technique and lightweight design have to be optimized.
Exoplanet imaging requires super polished off-axis parabolas (OAP) with the utmost surface quality. In this paper we describe an innovative manufacturing process combining 3D printing and stress polishing, to create a warping harness capable of producing any off axis parabola profile with a single actuator. The warping harness is manufactured by 3D printing. This method will be applied to the production of the WFIRST coronagraph's off axis parabolas. The evolution of the warping harness design is presented, starting from a ring warping harness generating astigmatism, to an innovative thickness distribution harness optimised to generate an off axis parabola shape. Several design options are available for the prototyping phase, with their advantages and disadvantages which will be discussed.
3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, offers a new vision for optical fabrication in term of achievable optical quality and reduction of weight and cost. In this paper we describe two different ways to use this technique in the fabrication process. The first method makes use of 3D printing in the fabrication of warping harnesses for stress polishing, and we apply that to the fabrication of the WFIRST coronagraph off axis parabolas. The second method considers a proof of concept for 3D printing of lightweight X-Ray mirrors, targeting the next generation of X-rays telescopes. Stress polishing is well suited for the fabrication of the high quality off axis parabolas required by the coronagraph to image exoplanets.. Here we describe a new design of warping harness which can generate astigmatism and coma with only one actuator. The idea is to incorporate 3D printing in the manufacturing of the warping harness. The method depicted in this paper demonstrates that we reach the tight precision required at the mirrors surface. Moreover the error introduced by the warping harness fabricated by 3D printing does not impact the final error budget. Concerning the proof of concept project, we investigate 3D printing towards lightweight X-ray mirrors. We present the surface metrology of test samples fabricated by stereo lithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) with different materials. The lightweighting of the samples is composed of a series of arches. By complementing 3D printing with finite element analysis topology optimization we can simulate a specific optimum shape for the given input parameters and external boundary conditions. The next set of prototypes is designed taking to account the calculation of topology optimisation.
FAME is a four-year project and part of the OPTICON/FP7 program that is aimed at providing a breakthrough component for future compact, wide field, high resolution imagers or spectrographs, based on both Freeform technology, and the flexibility and versatility of active systems.
Due to the opening of a new parameter space in optical design, Freeform Optics are a revolution in imaging systems for a broad range of applications from high tech cameras to astronomy, via earth observation systems, drones and defense. Freeform mirrors are defined by a non-rotational symmetry of the surface shape, and the fact that the surface shape cannot be simply described by conicoids extensions, or off-axis conicoids. An extreme freeform surface is a significantly challenging optical surface, especially for UV/VIS/NIR diffraction limited instruments.
The aim of the FAME effort is to use an extreme freeform mirror with standard optics in order to propose an integrated system solution for use in future instruments. The work done so far concentrated on identification of compact, fast, widefield optical designs working in the visible, with diffraction limited performance; optimization of the number of required actuators and their layout; the design of an active array to manipulate the face sheet, as well as the actuator design.
In this paper we present the status of the demonstrator development, with focus on the different building blocks: an extreme freeform thin face sheet, the active array, a highly controllable thermal actuator array, and the metrology and control system.
Proc. SPIE. 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II
KEYWORDS: Actuators, Monochromatic aberrations, Mirrors, Mirrors, Polishing, Polishing, Interfaces, Finite element methods, Chemical elements, Freeform optics, Active optics, Active optics, Disk lasers
We present two ways to generate or compensate for first order optical aberrations using smart warping harnesses. In these cases, we used the same methodology leading to replace a previous actuation system currently on-sky and to get a freeform mirror intended to a demonstrator. Starting from specifications, a warping harness is designed, followed by a meshing model in the finite elements software. For the two projects, two different ways of astigmatism generation are presented. The first one, on the VLT-SPHERE instrument, with a single actuator, is able to generate a nearly pure astigmatism via a rotating motorization. Two actuators are sufficient to produce the same aberration for the active freeform mirror, main part of the OPTICON-FAME project, in order to use stress-polishing method.
We present the conception of an anamorphic and telecentric scale changer with no distortion, able to provide magnifications in the range of 2 to 30 without any interchangeable optics, dedicated to ground or space applications. Several optical designs are investigated and the final configuration is based on off-axis five mirrors system with no moving elements. Four active mirrors are adapted to four different zoom configurations. A specific mechanical profile with variable thickness distribution is simulated and optimized on each mirror to allow using a minimal number of actuators. An opto-mechanical design will be presented, showing the implementation of actuators on the system. This work is done in the frame of the ANR project OASIX and will produce a lab prototype in 2015.