Figures of Merit for Mirror Materials
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA MATERIALS SCIENCES LAB
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Potential mechanisms that result in excessive wavefront distortions by large mirrors are reviewed, with the objective of defining the mirror substrate material property requirements in each case. A generalized figure of merit is found to require maximal thermal conductivity, elastic modulus, strength, melting point, and dimensional stability. The thermal expansion coefficients and their variability must be minimized. The analyses can be used to optimize mirror design and materials for a wide range of mechanical and thermal loading conditions.