Siberian scientists have developed a new generation of laser generator capable of generating diffractive optical elements for spacecraft — the first such installation was staged in Harbin Institute of Technology, the deal was $ 450 thousand, the director of the Technological Design Institute of Scientific Instrument Engineering, Russian Academy of Sciences Yuri Chuguy.
The device operates on technology similar to lithography — an ultraviolet laser beam is focused in the thick photosensitive film by a photochemical reaction on the treated surface turns nanorelief whose parameters can be kept to within a few nanometers. This can make templates for optical components or finished optics. This method enables, in particular, significantly reduced satellite mass optics.
"To get a quality image of the surface of the Earth by satellite, are used with large aperture lenses, including several optical elements weighing hundreds of pounds. Delivery of the equipment into orbit costs about 10 thousand dollars per kilogram. With photoplot created in our institute and the Institute of Automation and Electrometry can produce diffractive optical elements — thin plates that replace the heavy lens of several lenses ", — Chuguy said.
"This will reduce the cost of transportation to orbit dozens of times", — He added.
According to him, the previous version of the device are already working in the factories in Russia and abroad. In particular, the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant of such a facility ten years ago replaced the work of two plants for the production of optical scales and dials, one is working at a defense plant space instrument of "SPE" Geophysics-Space ".
Two units purchased two German research institute, another — Research Center Italian car manufacturer Fiat in Turin, where with the help of developed lightweight lights for the car, the scientist said.
Created in his institute new generation of laser generator greatly expands the possibilities of this technology. Now the semiconductor laser can be controlled to form a "halftone" images, which is essential for the production of high performance optical elements.
According to the source, the interest in the acquisition of the new model showed several academic institutes and the Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant. The cost of the device is between 350 to 450 thousand dollars, depending on the configuration.