ZERODUR® at AAS
In January, SCHOTT Advanced Optics took part in the 221st American Astronomical Society Meeting; the major astronomical conference for 2013. Held in Long Beach, CA, the winter meeting was attended by more than 4000 participants from around the globe, including top-level decision makers from NASA and prime contractors, as well as members from the Astronomy Principal Investigator community. This meeting provided SCHOTT with an ideal setting to present our market-changing technology – the extremely light weight ZERODUR® mirror, which provides a cost-effective solution for improving telescope capabilities.
The ZERODUR® mirror boasts an impressive 1200 mm diameter, while weighing only 45 kg. This makes it the first open-back mirror to achieving a light weighting factor close to 90 %. Through diamond grain standard CNC grinding, the aggressive weight reduction was achieved by producing a rib thickness of only 2 mm and face sheet parallel to the front side curvature as small as 8 mm.
The performance data SCHOTT provided highlights the ZERODUR® mirror’s ability to fully address today’s spaceborn mission requirements for earth observation and space telescopes. The technology’s potential to improve scientific observation and data collection clearly apparent to the attendees and initiated intensive discussions and excitement within the satellite and astronomical community.