Title: Low-weight, Low-cost, Low-cycle Time, Replicated Mirrors
Primary Author: Strafford, David
Organization: ITT Corporation, Defense and Information Solutions
Co-Author(s): Steven De Smitt and Robert Egerman, ITT Corporation, Defense and Information Solutions
ITT has patented and continues to develop processes to fabricate low cost borosilicate mirrors that can be used for both ground and space-based optical telescopes. Borosilicate glass is a commodity and is the material of choice for today’s flat-panel televisions and monitors. Supply and demand has kept its cost low compared to mirror substrate materials typically found in telescopes. The current technology development is on the path to having the ability to deliver imaging quality optics of up to 1m (scalable to 2m) in diameter in few weeks. For those applications that can accommodate the material properties of borosilicate glasses, this technology has the potential to revolutionize ground and space based astronomy. ITT has already demonstrated finishing a planar 0.6m borosilicate optic to <100 nm-rms. This paper will provide an overview of the historical development in this area with an emphasis on recent technology developments to fabricate a 0.6m parabolic mirror under grant #NNX09AD61G managed by NASA's ESTO.