Adaptive optical zoom
AdvisorDereniak, Eustace L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation presents the theoretical and experimental exploration of active reflective components specifically for large-aperture adaptive optical zoom systems. An active reflective component can change its focal length by physically deforming its reflecting surface. Adaptive optical zoom (AOZ) utilizes active components in order to change magnification and achieve optical zoom, as opposed to traditional zooming systems that move elements along the optical axis. AOZ systems are theoretically examined using a novel optical design theory that enables a full-scale tradespace analysis, where optical design begins from a broad perspective and optimizes to a particular system. The theory applies existing strategies for telescope design and aberration simulation to AOZ, culminating in the design of a Cassegrain objective with a 3.3X zoom ratio and a 375mm entrance aperture. AOZ systems are experimentally examined with the development of a large-aperture active mirror constructed of a composite material called carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP). The active CFRP mirror uses a novel actuation method to change radius of curvature, where actuators press against two annular rings placed on the mirror's back. This method enables the radius of curvature to increase from 2000mm to 2010mm. Closed-loop control maintains good optical performance of 1.05 waves peak-to-valley (with respect to a HeNe laser) when the active CFRP mirror is used in conjunction with a commercial deformable mirror.
Degree ProgramGraduate College