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ISSN: 1023-5086


ISSN: 1023-5086

Scientific and technical

Opticheskii Zhurnal

A full-text English translation of the journal is published by Optica Publishing Group under the title “Journal of Optical Technology”

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DOI: 10.17586/1023-5086-2022-89-04-23-33

УДК: 535.015, 536.33

Thermal optics of a collimator radiatively cooled under vacuum

For Russian citation (Opticheskii Zhurnal):

Дмитриев И.Ю., Котмакова А.А., Резунков Ю.А. Термооптика коллиматора, радиационно охлаждаемого в вакуумных условиях // Оптический журнал. 2022. Т. 89. № 4. С. 23–33. DOI: 10.17586/1023-5086-2022-89-04-23-33


Dmitriev I.Yu., Kotmakova A.A., Rezunkov Yu.A. Thermal optics of a collimator radiatively cooled under vacuum [in Russian] // Opticheskii Zhurnal. 2022. V. 89. № 4. P. 23-33. DOI: 10.17586/1023-5086-2022-89-04-23-33

For citation (Journal of Optical Technology):

I. Yu. Dmitriev, A. A. Kotmakova, and Yu. A. Rezunkov, "Thermal optics of a collimator radiatively cooled under vacuum," Journal of Optical Technology. 89(4), 205-212 (2022).



Infrared optoelectronic equipment with cooled optics operating in a background limited mode is tested in a vacuum and a low radiation background. The latter is ensured by cooling the optical elements of the collimator and preventing direct illumination of the entrance pupil of the equipment by warm elements of the vacuum chamber. Subject of study. The thermal optics of a two-mirror collimator are investigated in this study. The mirrors of this collimator are cooled by heat transfer through infrared emission to the cooled cylindrical shields of the thermostat, which was specifically designed for collimator cooling. Method. The collimator cooling modes are calculated considering both thermophysical material properties and structural features of the elements comprised in the thermostat and collimator. The thermophysical model of thermal equilibrium in an isolated system of solid bodies is used in the calculations. The issue of selecting a particular material for the collimator mirrors is considered provisionally. The thermal stability of the mirror material calculated as a ratio of the coefficient of thermal expansion β to its heat conduction coefficient λ is used as a parameter determining the choice. Sitall, silicon, and silicon carbide were considered in this study as materials for infrared mirrors. Main results. The magnitude of thermal deformations is determined by not only the occurring temperature gradients in a plane mirror but also the variation in the curvature of the mirror surface under general cooling of the nonplanar mirrors. The maximum temperature gradient over the surface is observed for the mirrors composed of sitall. The temperature gradient in the mirror composed of silicon carbide is significantly smaller. This is related to the heat conduction coefficient of silicon carbide being 2 orders of magnitude higher than that of sitall. Consequently, the thermal deformations of the mirror surface are also smaller in the plane mirror composed of silicon carbide. These results correspond to the criterial parameter of thermal stability β/λ for each of the discussed materials. However, in the case of cooling of the nonplanar (spherical or aspherical) mirrors, the calculations show that their thermal deformations result from not only the nonuniformity of heat flow distribution over the mirror surface but also the general reduction in mirror temperature. Practical significance. When cooled infrared mirrors are used in optical systems, the appearance of thermal deformation of their mirror surface should be considered. This thermal deformation is determined by not only the occurring temperature gradients in the volume of the mirror material, but also the change in the curvature of the mirror surface. In this regard, the mirrors composed of sitall are preferable for use under thermal vacuum conditions over mirrors composed of silicon carbide.


collimator, thermostat, heat exchange with radiation, heat balance, thermodeformations

OCIS codes: 110.3080; 230.4040

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