Optical Review

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 103–117

Optical design and active optics methods in astronomy

  • Gerard R. Lemaitre
Invited Review Papers

DOI: 10.1007/s10043-013-0015-4

Cite this article as:
Lemaitre, G.R. OPT REV (2013) 20: 103. doi:10.1007/s10043-013-0015-4


Optical designs for astronomy involve implementation of active optics and adaptive optics from X-ray to the infrared. Developments and results of active optics methods for telescopes, spectrographs and coronagraph planet finders are presented. The high accuracy and remarkable smoothness of surfaces generated by active optics methods also allow elaborating new optical design types with high aspheric and/or non-axisymmetric surfaces. Depending on the goal and performance requested for a deformable optical surface analytical investigations are carried out with one of the various facets of elasticity theory: small deformation thin plate theory, large deformation thin plate theory, shallow spherical shell theory, weakly conical shell theory. The resulting thickness distribution and associated bending force boundaries can be refined further with finite element analysis.


active optics optical design elasticity theory astronomical optics diffractive optics X-ray optics 

Copyright information

© The Optical Society of Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard R. Lemaitre
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, LOOMAix Marseille Université and CNRSMarseille CX 13France

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