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Interesting direction for thin telescope mirrors, flexing them?

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#1 Oregon-raybender

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Posted 10 July 2024 - 11:44 PM

Here is a interesting article on using thin mirrors for

solar projection. Roger Angel is involved with

using thin mirrors to focus a solar image. The

last section has his and Kim's idea on flexing

the glass into shapes to produce a perfect image.

 

A possible a improved direction for astronomy in the future?

 

Interesting read.

 

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https://spie.org/new...ing-solar-power

 

https://patents.just...ent/20220350109

 

 


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#2 TOMDEY

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 12:26 AM

Thanks! --- I just read both. I note that they are addressing with those displacement and force actuators five local aberrations at each and every little rectangular segment down there >>> Zernikeish tip, tilt, power, astigx, astigy >>> instantly solved through a sensor-coupled transfer matrix... so far good invention using garden-variety tools, which is of course good inventive "novel use of existing device". This allows the panels to be nice and cheap... quite possibly something no more sophisticated than metalized float or plate glass (also good!) What this achieves is better concentration at the tower target --- significant, but probably not overwhelmingly so. What they're doing is salvaging the rays that otherwise miss the target for various reasons: poor shape of the segs, poor aiming vis gimbals alone, etc. Obviously a real optics guy like Roger assures this is real applied science and not just mumbo jumbo. Is it a "breakthrough" No. Is it good applied science and engineering? Yes, of course.

 

[I used to review Solar Concentrator patents back in the 1970's and 80's for the patent lawyers. My specialty in that arena was "non image forming geometrical optics.]

 

PS: I called the panel-localized aberrations "Zernikeish" because orthogonality on the unit rectangle is different than the traditional unit circle Zernikes. Also, piston is not pertinent because phasing unnecessary in such flux concentrators.

 

I'm sure Roger is having a ball with this; he's a master nuts and bolts optiker --- and alternative energy sources has plenty of $$$ thrown at it. He brings established professional credibility and attention to the arena.    Tom


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#3 Oregon-raybender

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 01:05 AM

I agree, maybe not astro mirrors, yet?  but what a concept.

Leave to Roger to find a way to do it. He has a long

list of patents on the subject. Keeping the lawyers at U of A busy

 

Thought worth passing on, to let folks know what the pros are up to.

Who knows?

 

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#4 ex-Bubblehead

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Posted 11 July 2024 - 01:34 AM

Looks like a cost effective way to implement deformable mirror style adaptive optics: https://nps.edu/docu...16-e6933888dca8

 

As an aside, it was very,  VERY hard to resist touching the mirrors on the testbed shown in the linked paper.  They just looked so smooth and reflective.   And they were right THERE...




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