Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2019-04-08

Safran Reosc Wins Fifth Contract for ESO’s ELT

Safran Reosc, a subsidiary of Safran Electronics & Defense, recently signed a contract with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to design and produce the M5 mirror, the fifth and final mirror for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). The ELT will reportedly be the most powerful telescope ever built.

The M5 mirror for the ELT is a flat elliptical silicon carbide mirror measuring 2.70 by 2.20 metres. It will be the world’s largest mirror with optical precision in the 10 nanometre class built to date. The company is also responsible for the development and construction of the high-precision optical test bench, which will be used to measure the mirror’s optical quality throughout the polishing process.

This contract for the M5 mirror is the latest in a line of successes for the ELT. Safran Reosc previously won the contracts to make the thin glass petals of the M4 mirror in 2015, polish the M2 mirror in 2016 and polish the M3 mirror and all segments of the M1 mirror in 2017. The M5 mirror will help stabilise the image from the ELT telescope. It will be mounted, by ESO, on a tip/tilt mechanism that will constantly oscillate at controllable frequencies of about 10 Hz, which means it has to be very light and rigid.

Safran Reosc will deliver the M5 mirror in 2024 to ESO, which will then integrate the mirror in its structure.

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