Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Deformable mirror corrects errors

Date:
May 14, 2014
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Very high power is needed to cut or weld using a laser beam. But this creates its own problem: the beam’s energy deforms the mirrors that are focusing it to a point. When this happens, the beam expands and loses intensity. A new type of mirror can deform itself so as to correct this unwanted deformation.

Thermic-piezoelectric deformable mirror to be used in high power laser systems.
Credit: Fraunhofer IOF

Very high power is needed to cut or weld using a laser beam. But this creates its own problem: the beam's energy deforms the mirrors that are focusing it to a point. When this happens, the beam expands and loses intensity. A new type of mirror can deform itself so as to correct this unwanted deformation. It will be presented at the Optatec trade fair in Frankfurt from May 20 to 22.

Lasers are used in manufacturing to cut materials or weld components together. Laser light is focused to a point using various lenses and mirrors; the smaller the focal point and the higher the energy, the more accurately operators can work with the laser. So, turn up the power and off you go, right? It is not that simple because when laser power increases, the mirror heats up accordingly, causing it to deform. A deformed mirror cannot effectively focus the laser; the focal point gets bigger and laser power falls away.

Precisely correcting unwanted deformation

Scientists are working on ways of making the mirrors more temperature-resistant and getting rid of the deformation. However, this difficult undertaking only works up to a point. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are pursuing a completely different approach. "We've developed a mirror that doesn't prevent deformation by the laser, but corrects it," explains Dr. Claudia Reinlein, from Fraunhofer IOF. "By deliberately heating up the mirror to a precisely controlled level, we balance out the unwanted deformation by the laser."

Working with colleagues from Fraunhofer IKTS and Ilmenau University of Technology, the scientist designed a ceramic mirror with a copper layer on the front and built-in temperature sensors and filaments. When a laser beam heats up the mirror, the sensors detect the change. Software calculates how strongly the mirror is deforming from the heat and sends a corresponding current of electrical power through the filaments. These heat up accordingly and balance out the unwanted deformation. On the back of the mirror, the researchers have fitted a piezoelectric layer that can also deform the mirror and correct all further errors that could disrupt the laser beam. The scientists have already developed a prototype of the mirror and are presenting it at the Optatec trade fair in Frankfurt am Main from May 20 to 22 (hall 3, booth D50). Currently the researchers still have to control the system manually, but the mirror should be able to correct deformations automatically in future.

Lasers as "guardian angels" for satellites

Applications for the deformable mirror are not restricted to factories: satellites are also set to benefit from the breakthrough. If satellites collide with larger particles of dust, they can suffer serious damage. In the near future -- around five to ten years from now -- a laser beam could protect them against such danger: if a high-power laser is directed at the dust particle, the beam can push the particle outward and change its path to avoid collision with the satellite. However, one problem is that atmospheric turbulence can alter the laser beam; which is where the deformable mirror can come to the rescue. First the researchers send a beam from a separate laser into the atmosphere and analyze how the turbulence changes it. Based on this data, they can then deform the mirror using the filaments and a piezoelectric layer such that the laser beam hits the dust particle with just the right focus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Deformable mirror corrects errors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514133031.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2014, May 14). Deformable mirror corrects errors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514133031.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Deformable mirror corrects errors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140514133031.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins