Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of SPIE



Publication Date



Aluminum mirrors and telescopes can be built to perform well if the material is processed correctly and can be relatively low cost and short schedule. However, the difficulty of making high quality aluminum telescopes increases as the size increases, starting with uniform heat treatment through the thickness of large mirror substrates. A risk reduction effort was started to build and test a ½ meter diameter super polished aluminum mirror. Material selection, the heat treatment process and stabilization are the first critical steps to building a successful mirror. In this study, large aluminum blanks of both conventional AA-6061 per AMS-A-22771 and RSA AA-6061 were built, heat treated and stress relieved. Both blanks were destructively tested with a cut through the thickness. Hardness measurements and tensile tests were completed. We present our results in this paper and make suggestions for modification of procedures and future work.