Abstract

Design issues for a 30-m highly segmented mirror are explored, with emphasis on parametric models of simple, inexpensive segments. A mirror with many small segments offers cost savings through quantity production and permits high-order active and adaptive wave-front corrections. For a 30-m f/1.5 paraboloidal mirror made of spherical, hexagonal glass segments, with simple warping harnesses and three-point supports, the maximum segment diameter is ∼100 mm, and the minimum segment thickness is ∼5 mm. Large-amplitude, low-order gravitational deformations in the mirror cell can be compensated if the segments are mounted on a plate floating on astatic supports. Because gravitational deformations in the plate are small, the segment actuators require a stroke of only a few tens of micrometers, and the segment positions can be measured by a wave-front sensor.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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