Beijing Institute of Space Mechanics and Electricity (BISME)
Research for Additive Manufacturing of Lightweight, Optical Quality Aluminum Mirrors and Mechanical Structure
Additive manufacturing (AM) is widely regard as the next industrial revolution. AM enable new and innovative design forms that cannot be produced by conventional manufacturing methods. Space optical instruments are precision system that require high resolution, light weight, low cost and short schedule. Metal AM technology is becoming more adept at intricate mirror substrates and complex support structure shapes, enabling lightweight. Using the same material for both optical mirror and mechanical structure can make the instrument insensitive to temperature changes.
In this study, selective laser melting technology were utilized to create workpieces. The closed back aluminum mirror blank was fabricated with metallic powder bed fusion. The internal structure of the blank was designed with octahedral lattice to obtain lightweight. After forming, laser surface remelting was used to improve the mirror surface quality. Post annealing process was performed to relieve internal stresses. The single point diamond turning (SPDT) and polishing was been applied to deliver optical quality mirror. The optical mirrors and supporting structures model with a double reflection optical system was designed using Altair Inspire software. Topology optimization served as a way to generate finalized geometry. Finite element emulation analysis was applied to investigate major deformations of the model. The mirror substrates and supporting structure were made from one single material AlSi10Mg to improve thermal performance of the system. Finally, an aluminum optical-mechanical structure with 160mm aperture and 2.0kg weight was fabricated successful by AM. This research can lead to an increase in mirror mounting support complexity in the manufacturing of lightweight space optical remote sensor and improve overall process efficiency.
Han Xiao, Doctor of Harbin Institute of Technology, has worked as a senior engineer at Beijing Institute of Space Mechanics and Electricity (BISME) for 10 years. He has engaged in the research of AM and 3D printing to look for several applications in space. His research focuses on AM for a novel space optical remote sensor.
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