What's it about?

The VIBE™ process is a full-aperture, conformal polishing process incorporating high frequency and random motion designed to rapidly remove sub-surface damage in a VIBE pre-polish step and eliminate mid-spatial frequency (MSF) errors in a VIBE finishing step. The VIBE process has potential to be introduced in two areas of today’s modern optics manufacturing process. The first instance is replacing the conventional pre-polishing step with the rapid VIBE prepolish step. Results will be discussed in this paper that show 10 - 50x higher removal rates compared to conventional polishing for a variety of optical materials. High removal rates combined with the compliant lap results in damage-free surfaces that have the same form that was generated by the CNC generation process for spherical and non-spherical surfaces.

The second potential area to incorporate VIBE into today’s modern optics manufacturing process is as a finishing step after deterministic sub-aperture polishing to remove mid-spatial frequency errors. By selectively altering the compliant properties of the VIBE pad, and adjusting the frequency of the VIBE motion, VIBE finishing can reduce the mid-spatial frequencies caused from sub-aperture polishing processes while maintaining the desired corrected surface form. This paper will serve as an in-depth review of the VIBE process and how it complements other modern CNC optics manufacturing technologies, as well as highlighting recent VIBE advances specifically in the area of conformal optic fabrication.