Ultra-smooth mirrors for space research

17th April 2020
Alex Lynn

Using specialist production techniques, and benefiting from a stable manufacturing environment, Optical Surfaces’ experienced and skilled engineering team are known for producing ultra-smooth mirrors with surface accuracy, surface quality and surface slope errors.

Dr Aris Kouris of Optical Surfaces, commented: “Our pedigree in supplying state-of-the-art optics and optical systems for high power laser research is second to none. In recent years we have been selected by world leading high power laser research groups including AWE, ELI, LULI and CLF Rutherford as well as many academic centres of excellence to provide key mirrors and other related optics for a range of challenging applications.

"Producing high performance mirrors, lenses and spectrograph optics for space projects is something that we have done for many years. All optical components and systems to be used in space applications not only have to be lightweight but also have to meet certain key requirements to survive the harsh environment of space. 

"They must be constructed of specific materials that will not outgas when exposed to the vacuum of space. All significant air spaces should be vented to avoid pressure on the elements and distortion of the lens. All materials right down to glues and greases must be approved and tested for outgassing".

The company’s ISO 9001-2015 approved manufacturing workshops and test facilities are deep underground in a series of tunnels excavated in solid chalk where temperature remains constant and vibration is practically non-existent. With such stable conditions testing, particularly with long path lengths, becomes quantifiable and reliable.

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