Space optics

Through its subsidiary, Safran Reosc, Safran Electronics & Defense offers a complete range of high-performance space optics including lightweight and super-lightweight mirrors, dioptric optics, filters and optic components. 

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High-performance optics for space telescopes

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Astronomers requirements in terms of space optics mainly focus on their high spectral sensitivity, their robustness, rigidity, and light weight. Safran Electronics & Defense's lightweight vitroceramic mirrors make it possible to obtain maximum stiffness and very high mechanical resistance. They are obtained by chemical stress-relieving of micro-fissures. Super-lightweight technology developed in collaboration with the CNES is based on increasingly thinner, higher ribs. Safran Silicon carbide (SiC) mirrors are 4 times stiffer than those made of vitroceramics. Covered with a layer of dense material obtained by Chemical Vapor Deposition, they are very light and strong. For wide and medium field imaging applications, Safran offers highly robust dioptric optics providing better targeted image quality than diffraction. Safran manufactures many components required aboard satellites, such as spectral band selective filters (or stripe filters) combining high spectral precision, high air-vacuum stability and high-level quality (absence of flaws that would occult pixels). 

Presentation

Resulting from the mastery of different technologies, Safran Electronics & Defense space optics equip the main space telescopes worldwide:

  • Vitroceramic:
    • Meteosat
    • Hipparcos
    • Orfeus
    • SPOT
    • Helios
    • Cartosat
    • Solar B
    • Corot
    • Solar Dynamic Observatory
    • etc.
       
  • Super-lightweight:
    • secondary mirror of the Gemini telescope.
       
  • Silicon carbide (SiC):
    • RocSat
    • Astroterra
    • Gaia
    • JWST-NIRSpec
    • etc.
       
  • Dioptric optics:
    • Oceansat
    • High Resolution Stereo (HRS)
    • Linear Imaging Space Sensor (LISS) for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
    • etc.
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