The large optical generator: a progress report
- Parks, R. E.; Lam, P.; Kuhn, W. P.
In late 1982, the Optical Sciences Center decided to purchase a numerical control optical generator. The purpose was to support the work of Roger Angel's mirror blank fabrication work at Steward Observatory, and to generate the mold segments for use in fabricating carbon fiber-reinforced plastic panels for the Sub-Millimeter Telescope (SMT), a joint project of the University of Arizona and the Max Planck Institut fur Radioastronomie in Bonn, West Germany,
These projects dictated that the generator be able to directly machine the aspheric curve into symmetric glass blanks 8 m in diameter and as fast as f/0.8. In addition, the machine had to be capable of generating 2-m segments of a 10- to 15-m diameter dish with a speed of f/0,35, The generator also had to serve as a work station for doing other types of glass machining such as might be required on large, lightweight optics. These included the machining of fiducial marks, the light weighting of mirror blanks, the machining of mounting holes, and general edging of both round and irregular blanks, The specification, design, procurement and construction of such a machine took 16 months. The large optical generator (LOG) was delivered to the Optical Sciences Center by the Campbell Grinder Company of Muskegon, Michigan, during the first week of July 1984.
This paper describes the various mechanical features of the LOG and its control system. Our grinding experience to date on the machine is summarized.
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