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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 33, Iss. 7 — Mar. 1, 1994
  • pp: 1198–1202

Nondistorting lateral edge support of large telescope mirrors

Gerhard Schwesinger  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 33, Issue 7, pp. 1198-1202 (1994)

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Simply by push-pull shear action at their outer edge, large circular telescope mirrors can be laterally supported free from bending distortion, if the upright mirror is kept in balance by a cosine distribution of weak axial forces applied at its outer rim and possibly also at the central hole. The flexure-induced comalike wave-front aberration of a thin 8-m meniscus mirror was reduced to an rms value of 0.5 nm over the full aperture; the largest path difference was reduced to 2.4 nm. A comparable result has also been calculated for a meniscus mirror of different geometry and a material with different elastic constants. Realizing such possibilities in practice demands accurate engineering. A helpful artifice is investigated for the correct application of the tangential supporting forces.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: October 28, 1992
Revised Manuscript: April 5, 1993
Published: March 1, 1994

Gerhard Schwesinger, "Nondistorting lateral edge support of large telescope mirrors," Appl. Opt. 33, 1198-1202 (1994)

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  1. G. Schwesinger, “Lateral support of very large telescope mirrors by edge forces only,” J. Mod. Opt. 38, 1507–1516 (1991). [CrossRef]
  2. L. Noethe, European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany (personal communication, 1992).
  3. F. I. Niordson, Shell Theory, Vol. 29 of North-Holland Series in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1985), p. 105.

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