CILAS will develop the two large deformable mirrors for the Thirty Meter Telescope («TMT») 06-14-2019 |  2 minutes


CILAS, the pioneer in adaptive optics in France, was awarded a contract for the production of two large deformable mirrors (“DMs”) for TMT, one of the world’s most advanced optical/near-infrared telescopes when built.

This contract will produce the largest DMs ever fabricated with piezo-electric technology.

CILAS will manufacture the two DMs optically conjugated to the ground («DM 0», 3 125 actuators in a 63×63 array with ~5mm inter-actuator pitch) and to 11.8 km («DM 11», 4 548 actuators in a 76×76 array with ~5mm inter-actuator pitch).  The DMs will be integrated into the TMT first light, laser guide star, multi-conjugate adaptive optics system and used to correct wavefront deformations generated by atmospheric turbulence.

Located in Hawaii, TMT’s telescope observatory will enable discoveries in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology. TMT’s science agenda shall cover all space and time domains from nearby comets & asteroids to exoplanets, distant galaxies, and the very first sources of light in the universe. With a 30 meter primary mirror, TMT is at the vanguard of a new generation of large telescopes called «Extremely Large Telescopes» (“ELTs”).

This contract is the result of a long-standing collaboration between CILAS and TMT (started in 2004) to develop DM technology for very large telescopes. For this purpose, CILAS adapted and improved its SAM (Stack Array Mirror) technology, initially developed in the 1980’s to meet the needs of astronomers.

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Prototype deformable mirror TMT
Prototype deformable mirror TMT
Side view of TMT complex