We have designed and built an electrostatically deformable membrane mirror with simple bias and driver electronics to evaluate its suitability for a curvature-sensing adaptive optics system. It has a 100-mm-diameter aluminized nitrocellulose membrane, with 31 actuators arranged concentrically. The unit operates at atmospheric pressure with a high bias voltage applied to the membrane. The high-voltage electronics are contained within the mirror housing for safety reasons. An entrance window reduces the effects of air-coupled vibration. Details of the device and design rationale are presented. With a proper bias, the unit can provide low-order (including tip–tilt) wave-front correction.
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