Optical design and active optics methods in astronomy
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- Lemaitre, G.R. OPT REV (2013) 20: 103. doi:10.1007/s10043-013-0015-4
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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.