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Mirror Technology

  • Date Submitted: 08/07/2011 10:20 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 33.8 
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Contactless thin adaptive mirror technology: past, present and future
Roberto Biasi a, Daniele Gallieni b
Piero Salinaric, Armando Riccardic
Paolo Mantegazza d
a Microgate S.r.l. – Italy
b A.D.S. International S.r.l. - Italy
c Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri - Italy
d Dipartimento di ingegneria aerospaziale - Politecnico di Milano - Italy
The contactless, voice coil motor adaptive mirror technology starts from an idea by Piero Salinari in 1993. This idea has progressively evolved to real systems thanks to a fruitful collaboration involving Italian research institutes (INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri and Aerospace Department of Politecnico di Milano) and small Italian enterprises (Microgate and ADS). Collaboration between research institutions and industry is still very effectively in place, but nowadays the technology has left the initial R&D phase reaching a stage in which the whole projects are managed by the industrial entities. In this paper we present the baseline concept and its evolution, describing the main progress milestones. These are paced by the actual implementation of this idea into real systems, from MMT, to LBT, Magellan, VLT, GMT and E-ELT. The fundamental concept and layout has remained unchanged through this evolution, maintaining its intrinsic advantages: tolerance to actuators' failures, mechanical de-coupling and relaxed tolerances between correcting mirror and reference structure, large stroke, hysteresis-free behavior. Moreover, this concept has proved its expandability to very large systems with thousands of controlled d.o.f. Notwithstanding the solidity of the fundamentals, the implementation has strongly evolved from the beginning, in order to deal with the dimensional, power, maintainability and reliability constraints imposed by the increased size of the targeted systems.
Keywords: adaptive optics, adaptive mirrors, deformable mirrors, adaptive secondary, voice-coil, massive control....


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