What's it about?

Monolithic multi-surface telescopes combined with freeform optical surfaces provide improvements in optical performance in a smaller footprint as compared to systems with spherical surfaces, while providing superior mechanical stability to traditional telescope assemblies. Three different monolithic telescope concepts, in different configurations and optical performance were produced as proof of concepts. The results of the telescopes are presented as well as the unique manufacturing and testing challenges to produce these monolithic optical systems.

Advantages for monolithic optical systems

Monolithic systems offer the advantage of high stability as compared to traditional multi-element design. Alignment stability is crucial in high G-force applications such as airborne and spaceborne systems. The risk of element misalignment is greatly reduced by eliminating the need for opto-mechanical fixturing required to mount and position the optics...