Stretched membrane with electrostatic curvature (SMEC) mirrors for extremely large space telescopes

Brian Stamper, Roger Angel, James Burge, Tom Connors, Brian Duffy, Neville Woolf

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Very lightweight mirrors can be constructed by stretching a membrane to form a flat surface. Adding tension to the membrane, making it flat, can be done by discrete attachment points, or by using a continuous boundary. Such lightweight mirrors are very attractive for space telescopes where a 100m aperture can be made up of smaller mirror segments. Adding a slight curvature to each segments simplifies the optical train. This article looks at the making of a curved membrane mirror, and demonstrates its use. Measurements of the flat membrane, and the curved figure will be shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
EventOptical Manufacturing and Testing IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 31 2001Aug 2 2001


  • Gossamer
  • Membrane mirrors
  • SMEC
  • Space telescopes
  • Ultra-lightweight primary mirrors

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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