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 <i>f</i>/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
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(220.4880) Optical design and fabrication : Optomechanics
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics
Stephen Padin, "Design Considerations for a Highly Segmented Mirror," Appl. Opt. 42, 3305-3312 (2003)