Top 5 Advantages of Zero Thermal Expansion Components for Telescopes

Ultra-stable zero thermal expansion struts for athermal telescope design

The Problem with Traditional Telescope Support Structure Materials:

Are you struggling with thermal and mechanical challenges in your telescope design? Are you worried about meeting your lead time? Is your telescope project perilously close to going over budget? ALLVAR Alloys can help. 

The demand for low-cost, small to moderate-sized telescopes is growing, putting pressure on the optics industry to meet shorter lead times and lower price points. Current “state of the art” support structure materials used to maintain telescope performance, like Invar and Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP), cannot meet this new demand’s price and lead-time constraints.

Your Zero Thermal Expansion Solution:

ALLVAR Alloys offer novel, cost effective athermalization solutions for the passive metering of telescopes. In space-based telescopes in particular, the removal of measurement noise caused by thermal expansion of structural components that support optics is of particular importance.  Using this titanium-alloy’s unique negative thermal expansion, optics and telescope designers can dial-in a specific thermal expansion or zero thermal expansion profile by compensating for the natural expansion of other components in the telescope assembly. This passive thermal stability control offers a new athermalization solution with lower cost and faster lead time over Invar and carbon-fiber reinforced composites (CFRP) without adding the weight or budget of an active focusing mechanism. 

Additional Benefits to Utilizing Negative CTE ALLVAR Alloys:

ALLVAR Alloys are the only materials in the world that have a negative coefficient of thermal expansion and can: 

  1. Easily achieve nearly net zero thermal expansion  
  2. Create ultra-stable telescope structures by maintaining system and mechanical alignment over thermal extremes 
  3. Shorten the load path of telescope struts and metering components leading to stiffer structures
  4. Offer a passive solution to athermalization through tunable thermal expansion profiles 
  5. Reduce the cost and lead time of athermal telescope systems

These are just some of the ways that incorporating ALLVAR Alloys enables opto-mechanical designers to address a telescope structure’s thermal stability needs like never before.

Learn More at SPIE Optics and Photonics:

Dr. James Monroe will be attending the upcoming SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference from August 1st to 5th in San Diego, California. At the conference, Dr. Monroe will give a presentation on ALLVAR alloy athermalization: a novel and cost-effective alternative for small to moderate sized space telescopes. To learn more about Dr. Monroe and ALLVAR’s work related to telescope struts and optics, please visit SPIE’s digital Library. To schedule a time to meet with Dr. Monroe, fill out this form.  

Zero thermal expansion struts

Telescope Struts

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