Abstract

The experimental cryogenic performance of 160-mm-diameter silicon carbide (SiC) mirrors, one of which, a 700-mm-diameter mirror, is to be used as a primary mirror of the Japanese Infrared Astronomical Satellite ASTRO-F, is described. The mirrors are made from a sandwich-type SiC material that comprises a light porous core and a dense chemical-vapor-deposited coat of SiC. Three mirrors were manufactured consecutively, and changes in their surface contours related to temperature were measured with an interferometer when the mirrors were placed in a liquid-helium cryostat. Owing to significant improvements in manufacturing, the third SiC mirror showed only slight deformation as the temperature decreased from 300 to 6 K, which indicates high thermal strain homogeneity for a well-controlled sandwich-type SiC mirror.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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