There is a great demand for new telescopes that use larger primary mirrors to collect more light. Because of the difficulty in the fabrication of mirrors larger than 8 m as a single piece, they must be made with numerous smaller segments. The segments must fit together to create the effect of a single mirror, which presents unique challenges for fabrication and testing that are absent for monolithic optics. This is especially true for the case of a highly aspheric mirror required to make a short two-mirror telescope. We develop the relationship between optical performance of the telescope and errors in the manufacture and operation of the individual segments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering