Assessment of a New Low Weight Mirror Fabrication Technique for Future EO Space Systems

Gooch and Housego (UK) Ltd, supported by SSTL

Pathfinder Project

The aim of the project is to investigate alternate methods of reducing the weight of mirrors for space applications while retaining the required stability of surface form. Two alternate means of joining Zerodur® components without epoxy will be investigated and the optimum will be chosen for use in the second half of the project. Epoxy is to be avoided because of potential outgassing issues. The optimum bonding method will be selected and used in two different designs of fabricated lightweighted 150mm diameter planar mirrors. In the first lower risk method the mirror blank will be lightweighted using traditional pocketing techniques. However to increase the stability, a planar back plate will then be bonded to the ribs using the technique selected in the first section of the project. The second method building up the support webbing from individual components will also be investigated, offering the potential for lower mirror blank fabrication costs, but at significantly higher risk.

The lead organisation for this project is Gooch and Housego (UK) Ltd, supported by SSTL.