Cryogenic miniature deformable mirror with position sensing

Lead Research Organisation: University of the West of Scotland
Department Name: School of Science


The technique of wavefront correction using Adaptive Optics (AO) has enormous potential for improving our use of telescopes through reducing atmospheric distortion effects on image quality. Future developments will include the use of adaptive optics within instruments to enable cost effective access to the large focal planes of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). There are proposals under development for FP6 Smart Focal Planes which have identified such a requirement and some instrument studies for ELTs are highlighting the need to correct for small selectable parts of the focal plane rather than attempt to correct the entire focal plane. We propose to develop technology to enable the manufacture of miniature deformable mirrors suitable for use in cryogenic instrumentation, and with the ability to sense the position of the deformable mirror surface to high accuracy. We will make use of recent developments in miniature high frequency transducers and use a novel glass bonding technology to build a proof of concept demonstrator. Position sensing will enable us to address hysteresis effects and the novel bonding technology will enable the use of extremely thin mirror face sheet.