Location

University of Utah

Start Date

8-5-2000 10:00 AM

Description

The light collection capability of an interferometer is dependent on the aperture size of the instrument. Increasing the aperture size can reduce the noise level of the instrument. Instruments that collect light at wavelengths longer than about 15μm often use Potassium Bromide (KBr) beamsplitters. KBr has a high coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and low strength, which make it difficult to mount in a robust manner. As a result, many engineers have been hesitant to design their instruments using the full aperture size required for optimal performance. The overall objective of this effort was to examine novel methods of mounting KBr beamsplitters to improve their vibrational, optical, and thermal characteristics. A new thermally engineered composite material (TECMat) was developed that appears to match the CTE of KBr over a wide temperature range. TECMat’s material properties and possible methods of implementing it in beamsplitter mounts are described.

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May 8th, 10:00 AM

Mounting of Large Optics for Space Instruments

University of Utah

The light collection capability of an interferometer is dependent on the aperture size of the instrument. Increasing the aperture size can reduce the noise level of the instrument. Instruments that collect light at wavelengths longer than about 15μm often use Potassium Bromide (KBr) beamsplitters. KBr has a high coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and low strength, which make it difficult to mount in a robust manner. As a result, many engineers have been hesitant to design their instruments using the full aperture size required for optimal performance. The overall objective of this effort was to examine novel methods of mounting KBr beamsplitters to improve their vibrational, optical, and thermal characteristics. A new thermally engineered composite material (TECMat) was developed that appears to match the CTE of KBr over a wide temperature range. TECMat’s material properties and possible methods of implementing it in beamsplitter mounts are described.