Rostec Installs Mirror at Russian Academy of Sciences Observatory

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Civil and military industrial technology provider Rostec has installed a mirror at the Large Altazimuth Telescope (BTA) in the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SAO RAS) in Karachay-Cherkessia.

The key element of BTA installed by Rostec is a mirror with a 6-m diameter. The surface of the mirror shape is now being adjusted, and the curvature and deviation of the mirror surface from the specified form are being measured. This will help to adjust the supporting systems that the mirror sits on. The final step will be to apply a reflective coating to the surface with a special vacuum unit.

"Our technologies allow us to create a mirror weighing several dozen tons and process it with nm precision,” said Oleg Yevtushenko, executive director of Rostec. “The combination of the large size of the mirror and the unique reflective optical characteristics will allow Russian scientists to work with one of the most advanced telescopes in the world over the coming decades. The new optics increase the range of observations by 1.5×, greatly expanding the horizons of research.”

In order to avoid deformation of the mirror, which weighs more than 40 tons, 60 special supporting systems are used when pivoting the telescope. Employees of the Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory (LZOS) of Shvabe Holding worked to improve the quality, accuracy, and penetrating power of the mirror.

"The history of the telescope began with making two mirrors in the 1970s,” said Alexey Patrikeev, general director of Shvabe Holding. “The first was used in the first four years, after which it was replaced by a more advanced one. After nearly 40 years of operation, the surface quality has deteriorated significantly, and it was decided to send the first mirror to LZOS for an upgrade. Today, adjusted to the new weight, it has been successfully installed into BTA. The shape of the surface was also evaluated. The RAS has already received the first test shots. The final work on improving the mirror surface and further configuration, which will complete the preparatory phase, is now underway. The upgrade will provide 40 to 50 years of trouble-free operation of the telescope.”

Rostec is a Russian State Corporation established in 2007 with the purpose of facilitating the development, manufacture, and export of high-tech industrial products for both civil and military purposes. It incorporates more than 700 entities that currently form 11 holdings operating in the military-industrial complex and four holdings active in civilian industries, as well as over 80 directly supervised organizations.

Published: September 2018
BusinessRostecRussian Academy of SciencesLarge Altazimuth TelescopeOpticspartnershipsEuropeAsia-Pacificlight speed

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