FAME is a four years effort which aimed at providing a breakthrough component for future compact, wide field, high resolution imagers or spectrographs, based on the freeform technology and the flexibility and versatility of active systems.
The aim of the FAME effort is to combine extreme freeforms and deformable mirrors in order to propose an integrated solution to be used on future instrumentation, in warm or cooled environment. The work done so far already identified several compact, fast, wide field optical designs working in the visible, with a diffraction limited performance.
Using extremely aspheric mirrors (Freeform Mirrors) instead of more conventionally shaped optics in spectrographs can significantly reduce the number of optical components required. This reduction facilitates:
- Reduction of the loss of the flux transmitted.
- The possibility of wider fields of view.
- Larger spectral bandwidths.
- Easier access to UV band (fewer optics, only reflective).
- Reduced mechanical integration complexity.
- A reduction of the overall instrument mass and volume envelope.
- Increased reliability and operational availability.
- Reduction of optical component cost.
We aim to demonstrate that by the end of 2016 it could be possible to adopt this technology in the designs of the proposed multi-object ELT instruments. To date the broad introduction of freeform optics has been inhibited because:
- Tools for designing and analysing optical systems are not suited for free form components.
- Production methods and metrology to create an accurate shape with high surface smoothness do not fit the requirements for optical/Infrared instruments.
This work is done in collaboration with ASTRON/NOVA, UK-ATC, Konkoly Observatory.