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Published July 28, 2014 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Design, fabrication and testing of active carbon shell mirrors for space telescope applications


A novel active mirror concept based on carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials is presented. A nanolaminate facesheet, active piezoelectric layer and printed electronics are implemented in order to provide the reflective surface, actuation capabilities and electrical wiring for the mirror. Mirrors of this design are extremely thin (500-850 µm), lightweight (~ 2 kg/m^2) and have large actuation capabilities (~ 100 µm peak- to-valley deformation per channel). Replication techniques along with simple bonding/transferring processes are implemented eliminating the need for grinding and polishing steps. An outline of the overall design, component materials and fabrication processes is presented. A method to size the active layer for a given mirror design, along with simulation predictions on the correction capabilities of the mirror are also outlined. A custom metrology system used to capture the highly deformable nature of the mirrors is demonstrated along with preliminary prototype measurements.

Additional Information

© 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Published date July 28, 2014. We thank Keith Patterson, Andrew Shapiro and Scott Basinger ( NASA JPL) for their technical and programmatic support throughout t.he project. Financial support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada is gratefully acknowledged. A part of this research was carried out at the Jet. Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract With the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

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