Space optics center makes king-size mold for high-resolution screens

Aug. 9, 2001
This master mold will be used to make several other molds, each capable of forming hundreds of screens that have fresnel lenses.

Researchers at the Space Optics Manufacturing and Technology Center at NASA�s Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, AL) have manufactured a king-size copper mold for high-resolution monitor screens. This master mold will be used to make several other molds, each capable of forming hundreds of screens that have fresnel lenses.

Weighing much less than conventional optics, fresnel lenses have multiple concentric grooves, each formed to a precise angle, that together create the curvature needed to focus and project images.

To ensure quality of the mold, Wes Brown, Marshall�s lead diamond turner, used a magnifying glass to inspect its physical characteristics to ensure the uniformity of more than 6000 grooves.

Marshall is a technology leader for diamond turning. The machine used to manufacture this mold is among many one-of-a-kind pieces of equipment at its Space Optics Manufacturing and Technology Center.

Through its Space Optics Manufacturing and Technology Center, the Marshall Center leads NASA�s space optics manufacturing technology development. With more than 30 years of experience developing sophisticated optical systems for space exploration, the Center has developed several of the world's largest space-based observatories for NASA, including Skylab's Apollo Telescope Mount, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the world�s most powerful X-ray telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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