Reference Body for VLT-DSM

Reference Body for VLT-DSM

  G-Back view-3 Thales SESO has completed in 2010 the manufacturing 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.

“The art of sculpting glass”

This is one of the major Thales SESO achievements which demonstrate our capability to produce highly lightened optical parts. Many examples of this know-how can be also found in the Space optics (lien) but are needed sometime as well as for use on ground.

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Global view of the complete VLT-DSM assembly (picture with courtesy of ADS international and Microgate, Italy) The back plate is supporting the secondary deformable mirror thin shell.
Finished part during optical inspection The reference body is highly lightened (up to 80%) and includes 1170 holes (Φ16mm, tolerance <0.1mm) used for purpose of actuators mounting interfaces

Thales SESO is very proud to point out that ESO has published in their own website an article illustrating this realization and named “the art of sculpting glass at Thales Seso”. See ESO website http://www.eso.org under « Announcement section » (as of September 2010).