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Comparison of diamond-machining and replication methods for producing high-quality metal mirrors

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A number of optical systems for commercial, military and space applications are subjected to very high dynamic loads and large temperature changes during operation and storage. In such applications, metal mirrors offer a number of cost and performance advantages as compared to mirrors made out of ceramic or glass materials. By making the mirrors and support structure from the same or similar metals, the differential thermal expansion and thermal gradients can be greatly reduced. In case of mirrors of complex shapes, such as off-axis aspherical or cylindrical, making them from suitable metals offers significant cost advantages because other low-cost high volume fabrication methods can be employed. Metal mirrors of an-open back design can also be light-weighted resulting in a significant overall system weight reduction.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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