Big optics for astronomy and solar energy

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


Aden Meinel came from the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory and the Department of Astronomy to found the Optical Sciences Center (OSC). Aden conceived and made at the Center of the optics for the revolutionary Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT), which greatly influenced the design of future large research telescopes and the technology needed to make them. The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab was built to make honeycomb mirrors up to 8.4 m diameter, and with much faster focal ratio. In use in the current Large Binocular Telescope and future Giant Magellan Telescope, these mirrors provide powerful astronomical research capabilities with unique sensitivity for exoplanet observations in the infrared. The solar energy field can also benefit from Aden's legacy, by using multiple large solar mirrors configured like the MMT to power very high efficiency photovoltaic cells at each focus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFifty Years of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona
EditorsJohn E. Greivenkamp, Eustace L. Dereniak, Harrison H. Barrett
ISBN (Electronic)9781628412130
StatePublished - 2014
Event50 Years of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 19 2014Aug 20 2014

Publication series

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


Other50 Years of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • GMT
  • LBT
  • MMT
  • adaptive optics
  • large optics
  • multi-junction PV cells
  • solar energy
  • telescopes

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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