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NASA Exploring Freeform Optics for Compact Space Telescopes

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Freeform optics technology allows telescope mirrors to take almost any shape, potentially improving image quality over a larger field of view. Prompted by advances in computer-controlled fabrication and testing, NASA engineers are now using freeform optics to explore cost-effective alternatives to more traditional space telescope missions, such as CubeSats and other small satellites. "If you want to put these telescopes into a smaller box, you need to let the mirrors bend like a potato chip," said Joseph Howard, an optical engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. ...Read full article

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