Proven CFRP Technology

After nearly 20 years in business, Composite Mirror Applications Inc. has consistently proven the viability of composite-based optics and structures for a host of applications from space-flight to ground-based imaging systems.

OPTICS

Optical mirrors demand high dimensional stability and low expansion characteristics in order to qualify for image-quality optics. CMA has produced numerous lightweight optics from carbon composites that exhibit extremely high accuracy. Mirror fabrication processes developed at CMA are robust and are amenable to a wide variety of materials suiting applications ranging from long wavelength telescopes, IR, near-field projection and optical imaging systems.

STRUCTURES

CMA believes there is really no point to placing lightweight optical mirrors into heavy steel or aluminum structures. For this reason, CMA has placed much emphasis on producing CFRP optical support structures. They exhibit the following characteristics that make them ideal for optical systems.

1)   CFRP materials have a high stiffness-to-weight ratio, 5 times steel and 3 times aluminum.

2)   Carbon fibers are thermally stable and offer low CTE performance to CFRP mirrors.

3)   CFRP materials exhibit excellent elastic behavior.

4)   The density of CFRP materials (1.6 gm/cc) is roughly half that of aluminum (2.7 gm/cc).

5)   CFRP mirrors can be repeatably and stably produced.

OPTICAL SYSTEMS

CFRP materials are ideal for producing lightweight structures for optical mirrors and systems. The tailorability of carbon fiber composites make possible highly optimized structures for optical benches, Optical telescope tube assemblies and lightweight spaceflight optical structures.