In January, SCHOTT Advanced Optics took part in the 221st American Astronomical Society Meeting; the major astronomical conference for 2013. Held in Long Beach, CA, the winter meeting was attended by more than 4000 participants from around the globe, including top-level decision makers from NASA and prime contractors, as well as members from the Astronomy Principal Investigator community. This meeting provided SCHOTT with an ideal setting to present our market-changing technology – the extremely light weight ZERODUR® mirror, which provides a cost-effective solution for improving telescope capabilities.
The ZERODUR® mirror boasts an impressive 1200 mm diameter, while weighing only 45 kg. This makes it the first open-back mirror to achieving a light weighting factor close to 90 %. Through diamond grain standard CNC grinding, the aggressive weight reduction was achieved by producing a rib thickness of only 2 mm and face sheet parallel to the front side curvature as small as 8 mm.