Optimized active, lightweight space mirrors

Dave Baiocchi, James H Burge

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

2 Scopus citations


Since 1996, a team at the University of Arizona has been designing and fabricating lightweight, active space mirrors. These glass/composite mirrors use a thin flexible substrate for the optical surface and an actuated composite structure for support. We present a design method that yields the best figure correction for the lightest mass by assuming that the substrate's material properties are the limiting parameters. The results are such that the designer decides on a total mass budget and an aperture area, and the algorithm provides the substrate thickness, number of support points, and the mass distribution between the substrate and actuators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsH.A. MacEwen
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventUV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 5 2003


OtherUV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA



  • Active mirrors
  • Design
  • Lightweight
  • Mirror support
  • Optimized
  • Scaling laws
  • Space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Baiocchi, D., & Burge, J. H. (2004). Optimized active, lightweight space mirrors. In H. A. MacEwen (Ed.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 5166, pp. 49-57)