High Quality Optically Polished Aluminum Mirror and Process for Producing (GSC-14147)

Researchers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center have developed a revolutionary process for precision optical polishing of bare aluminum to an unprecedented smoothness. GSFC’s process begins by using a single-point diamond turning machine. Grinding cannot be used on bare aluminum—it leaves behind particles that scratch the surface during polishing. Diamond turning alone, typically produces a 30- to 80-angstrom finish on standard aluminum materials. Therefore, additional polishing is required to achieve the needed smoothness for low-scatter, high-quality bare aluminum optics.

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