A locking clamp that enables high thermal and vibrational stability for kinematic optical mounts

Maggie Kautz, Laird M. Close, Jared R. Males

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


One of the main pursuits of the MagAO-X project is imaging planets around nearby stars with the direct detection method utilizing an extreme AO system and a coronagraph and a large telescope. The MagAO-X astronomical coronagraph will be implemented on the 6.5 meter Clay Magellan Telescope in Chile. The 22 mirrors in the system require a high level of mirror stability. Our goal is less than 1 microradian drift in tilt per mirror per one degree Celsius change in temperature. There are no commercial 2inch kinematic optical mounts that are truly "zero-drift" from 0-20C. Our solution to this problem was to develop a locking clamp to keep our optics stable and fulfill our specifications. After performing temperature variation and thermal shock testing, we conclude that this novel locking clamp significantly increases the thermal stability of stainless steel mounts by ∼10x but still allows accurate microradian positioning of a mirror. A provisional patent (#62/632,544) has been obtained for this mount.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems VI
EditorsDirk Schmidt, Laura Schreiber, Laird M. Close
ISBN (Print)9781510619593
StatePublished - 2018
EventAdaptive Optics Systems VI 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 15 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherAdaptive Optics Systems VI 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • environment
  • kinematic mount
  • locking mechanism

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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