Space telescopes and optics

The observation of distant planets, galaxies and other celestial objects from space requires very high technology space telescopes. For their design, Safran Reosc, a Safran Electronics & Defense subsidiary, offers high-precision optics with support structures combining lightweight, stiffness and stability.

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Innovative, high-performance space telescopes


Expectations in terms of observation from space are many and varied: optimum reduced mass, high-precision optics, careful integration, highly reliable attachment of the optics, etc. the quality of the telescope structure is crucial to limit external thermo-mechanical disruption. To provide these global performances, whether for conventional or TMA telescopes, Safran Electronics & Defense uses high-technology materials such as vitroceramic, carbon fiber, titanium and silicon carbide. The latter is used in the manufacture of both the optics and the structures providing global, consistent dilatation and perfectly maintained alignments and focusing.


Thanks to its world-famous technology, Safran Electronics & Defense participates in the main international space programs:

OFEQ conventional space telescope for Elbit Systems Electro-optics:

  • lightweight vitroceramic primary mirrors
  • tubular, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) structure
  • secondary mirror fastened to a titanium spider

TMA space telescope developed for a Research and Technology (R&T) operation for the CNES (French Space Agency):

  • CFRP (carbon fiber) bars and plates

American James Webb Space Telescope made of silicon carbide:

  • FOR, COL and CAM optic modules for the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) 
  • optics and structure made of silicon carbide
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