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TNO, a research and development organization in the Netherlands supporting national and international missions, maintains state-of-the-art facilities for designing and building optical instrumentation for both space and ground-based astronomy applications.
“Up until recently, the precision with which TNO could diamond turn parts was limited by excessive (+/- 0.2 ºC) temperature variations inside the machine enclosure. Because of the ambient thermal variations, we could not meet certain demanding optical specifications. With guidance from Praecis, Inc., we were introduced to their solution, the Praecis ATCU-5. When this system was attached to our diamond turning machine, we were able to maintain thermal stability inside the machine enclosure to within +/- 0.02 ºC ambient.
Installation of the Praecis ATCU enabled us to machine a 350-mm aluminum aspheric mirror to tolerances that would have been impossible without precision air temperature control. The ATCU has also helped us to improve throughput—the settling time to stabilize the temperature inside of our enclosure, which used to take hours, now takes less than ten minutes!
The Praecis staff is very knowledgeable about diamond turning, accuracy, and temperature control—and thus proved to be immensely helpful in selecting the right ATCU for the application, assisting with enclosure design issues, and in getting our system up and running.”
Statement by Bart van Venrooy, TNO Diamond Turning Laboratories
For more information: http://www.praecis.com/retrofit-example-diamond-turning