Ceramic Additive Manufacturing Process Applied to Aerospace Needs for Optimised Optical Instruments
In the last decade, the optical instrumentation for space and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform has been optimised in order to reduce the mass and volume of the equipment. In order to meet this specific goal, it was critical to develop new innovative systems taking into account new manufacturing methods.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) as one of the key components in innovative solution to design optimised optical instrument. Products are mainly plane mirrors for front end laser engines (galvo-mirror for high energy laser application), and optical applications. The innovation therefore lies in the application of AM to the design and manufacturing of optical substrates.
An optical system needs the followings technical characteristics:
- High stiffness – to improve and guarantee the stability of the line in sight,
- High strength – to withstand the harsh mechanical and thermal environment
- High stability – to guarantee the optical performance in orbit or generally during the mission
This article explains how the AM process can reach these requirements, and can improve some points.