This work focused on a manufacturing process to produce silicon carbide optical surfaces with low mid-spatial surface errors. Mid-spatial frequency (MSF) and high-spatial frequency (HSF) surface errors in the grinding of fast aspheres are amplified in hard ceramics like silicon carbide due to cyclic tool wear rates, vibration, and tool deformation.

Electro-Lytic in Process Dressing (ELID) is being examined as a solution to mitigate these phenomena and reduce the creation of MSF and HSF errors. Doing so will reduce the overall cost of making fast aspheres by increasing removal efficiency while subsequently reducing the need for downstream MSF error correction through smoothing.

This work was done by Kai Xin and Flemming Tinker of Aperture Optical Sciences Inc./Flemming Tinker Inc. for Goddard Space Flight Center. For further information, contact the Goddard Innovative Partnerships Office at (301) 286-5810. GSC-16483-1