Ground-based Astronomy

Ground-based Astronomy

For more than 40 years, Thales SESO has delivered high accuracy optics for ground-based Astronomy all around the world. These optics range from single, but challenging, unmounted optical components up to fully integrated opto-mechanical systems. Our design heritage and past experience in this field cover the design, manufacture and AIT activities of many optics and sub-assemblies used in Telescope instrumentation, such as focal plane assemblies as well as the direct production of telescope mirrors themselves. Several major achievements of Thales SESO ground-based Astronomy products were the Optical wide field corrector for the Dark Energy Survey (lien), the Reference Body for future Deformable Secondary Mirror of the VLT (lien) and different challenging spectrograph optics (Collimator and Cameras) for different Observatories (lien). One advantage Thales SESO has with this activity is that most part of the manufacturing steps involved (i.e. opto-mechanical design, milling/grinding, lightening, polishing and coating) are directly under our control in our own facility. Our current capabilities for the production of optics for ground-based Astronomy are from a few centimeters size up to 2 meters. Thanks to the continuous efforts in R& D and investments into new production machines, Thales SESO is now ready for future industrial challenges including the optical production of some key elements of the E-ELT and TMT programs.


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Reference Body for VLT-DSM

Thales SESO has completed in 2010 the manufacturinge of this very challenging Zerodur lightened blank. This piece (called “VLT-DSM Reference body” or also « VLT-DSM Back Plate ») will be part of the future Deformable Secondary Mirror (DSM) of one of the four Very Large Telescopes (VLT) operated by ESO [...]

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wind turbineOptical corrector for Dark Energy Survey

THALES SESO manufactured one of largest lens in the world the Dark Energy Survey (DES) project (lien) with a diameter of 980mm. This project included the grinding, polishing, control and coat and AR coatings of 5 large lenses (some evenaspheres) [...]

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mirror_thales01Osiris Collimator for Grantecan

THALES SESO designed and manufactured the Collimator Assembly for the OSIRIS instrument delivered to the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC-Tenerife). [...]

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satelite_kompsat_thales01First light secondary mirror for LBT

Thales SESO was awarded the contract for the optical polishing and control of the “first light” secondary mirror of the LBT (Φ980mm) The unit was produced and delivered to the LBT project though a contract placed by the Ohio State University. [...]

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Secondary mirror for MRO

Thales SESO has manufactured (i.e. grinding, polishing and coating) the secondary ULE mirror of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO). This is a challenging highly off axis convex aspherical mirror. [...]

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Spectrograph optics for HRS-SALT

Thales SESO has full capabilities to design, manufacture, assembly and test spectrograph optics such as dioptric Collimator and Camera assemblies. The Blue and Red CAM assemblies for the High Resolution Spectrograph of the South African Large Telescope was a. typical example of Thales SESO know how in such business. [...]

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PEPSI-cross dispersor

Under a contract issued by the AIP, Thales SESO has manufactured a set of 6 Cross Dispersers (one for spectral band in-between 365nm-950nm) used in the PEPSI spectrograph installed at focal plane of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) [...]

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WFCAM optics for UK-IR telescopeg

Under a contract issue by the UATC, Thales SESO has designed and manufactured the Secondary and Tertiary mirrors as well as the large Filed lens of the Wide Field Camera (WFCAM) installed onto the UK infrared Telescope (UK-IRT) located in Hawaii [...]

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