New developments in the Precessions process for manufacturing free-form, large-optical, and precision-mechanical surfaces

D. D. Walker, A. T.H. Beaucamp, V. Doubrovski, C. Dunn, R. Freeman, G. Hobbs, G. McCavana, R. Morton, D. Riley, J. Simms, X. Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recent upsurge in the demand for off-axis and complex "freeform" optical surfaces is driving the development of novel processes for their fabrication. This paper focuses on recent developments of the Precessions CNC polishing process for freeform surfaces, including off-axis as a special case. First, the surface-prescription and metrology-data, and their relation to the data-input for the polishing machines, are considered. The relevance of consistent coordinate frames is emphasised. An outline of how the process can 'polish' a ground freeform part (improve the texture), and then 'figure' the part (reduce the form errors) is given. Specific experimental case-studies are then presented, illustrating the versatility of the process on different materials and forms. Recent work is included in which the process-speed has been moderated in order to remove tens of nanometres of stock material, rather then the more usual hundreds of nanometres to tens of microns as in the standard Precessions process. The relevance of this to improving the ultimate surface-precision that should be achievable by this method is described. As a final illustration, the potential of the process to the rapid fabrication of the hundreds to thousands of 1-2 metre class mirror segments required for extremely large telescopes is considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number614805
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6148
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd International Symposium on Advanced Optical Manufacturing and Testing Technologies: Large Mirrors and Telescopes - Xian, China
Duration: 2005 Nov 22005 Nov 5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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