Active Optics Developments at LAM for Future Ground Based and Space Borne Observatories

Thursday, 22 November 2012 8 a.m. — 9 a.m. MST

AURA Lecture Hall

NOIRLab South Colloquia
Emmanuel Hugot (Laboratoire dAstrophysique de Marseille, France & Gemini South Visiting Astronomer)

The Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille is involved in Active Optics developments since more than 40 years. Based on the control of elastic bending of mirrors and lenses, Active Optics have severalapplications such as maintaining of the optimal shape of large thin optics, providing variable optical path and producing complex aspherical optics by stress polishing.

We will review some of the most relevant activities made at LAM :

  • the development of variable curvature mirrors for the delay lines of the VLTI, and their extensions to laser guide star refocusing systems for the E-ELT,
  • the development of smart active mirrors with external actuators, and their application for future large space observatories or laser beam shaping,
  • the development of a full sized stress polishing demonstrator for the E-ELT off axis 1.5m segments

I will conclude with the perspectives offered by Active Optics for the emergence of a breakthrough instrumentation for future large observatories.