Advances in optical engineering for future telescopes

Daewook Kim, Heejoo Choi, Trenton Brendel, Henry Quach, Marcos Esparza, Hyukmo Kang, Yi Ting Feng, Jaren N. Ashcraft, Xiaolong Ke, Tianyi Wang, Ewan S. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Significant optical engineering advances at the University of Arizona are being made for design, fabrication, and construction of next generation astronomical telescopes. This summary review paper focuses on the technological advances in three key areas. First is the optical fabrication technique used for constructing next-generation telescope mirrors. Advances in ground-based telescope control and instrumentation comprise the second area of development. This includes active alignment of the laser truss-based Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) prime focus camera, the new MOBIUS modular cross-dispersion spectroscopy unit used at the prime focal plane of the LBT, and topological pupil segment optimization. Lastly, future space telescope concepts and enabling technologies are discussed. Among these, the Nautilus space observatory requires challenging alignment of segmented multi-order diffractive elements. The OASIS terahertz space telescope presents unique challenges for characterizing the inflatable primary mirror, and the Hyperion space telescope pushes the limits of high spectral resolution, far-UV spectroscopy. The Coronagraphic Debris and Exoplanet Exploring Pioneer (CDEEP) is a Small Satellite (SmallSat) mission concept for high-contrast imaging of circumstellar disks and exoplanets using vector vortex coronagraph. These advances in optical engineering technologies will help mankind to probe, explore, and understand the scientific beauty of our universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number210040
JournalOpto-Electronic Advances
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • CCOS multiplexing
  • Computer controlled optical surfacing
  • Dwell time optimization
  • Hyperion
  • Large binocular telescope
  • Nautilus
  • Optical metrology
  • Pupil segmentation
  • Telescope alignment
  • Vector vortex coronagraph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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