Ultralightweight active mirror technology at the University of Arizona

J. H. Burge, D. Baiocchi, B. Cuerden

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Lightweight mirrors for space can be made using a thin flexible substrate for the optical surface and a rigid lightweight frame with actuators for support. The accuracy of the optical surface is actively maintained by adjusting the actuators using feedback from wavefront measurements. The University of Arizona is now is the final stages of fabricating two such mirrors. A 2-m NGST Mirror System Demonstrator, with an areal density of 13 kg/m2, is being built for NASA and will be tested at cryogenic temperatures. A 50 cm development mirror, with an areal density of only 5 kg/m2, is also being fabricated. This paper discusses the fabrication processes involved with both of these mirrors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-241
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventOptomechanical Engineering 2000 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 7 2000Nov 8 2000


  • Active optics
  • Lightweight mirrors
  • Space optics

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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