Super magnet assembly to improve optical systems

Super magnet assembly to improve optical systems - Transcript

0:01-0:09 Adaptive optics is an exciting field of technology that can improve the performance optics of land-based telescopes and ground-to-space communications.

0:11-0:17 Without adaptive optics, incoming light waves are distorted due to turbulence in the atmosphere.

0:17-0:26 A way to fix this is by using a deformable mirror. The mirror itself is positioned near where the light is received; for example: in a telescope.

0:27-0:34 But how can you create a mirror that consumes the least amount of power, and can be deformed enough, without further distorting the image?

0:35-0:42 By using an external magnetic field and the NRC's innovative Lorentz Force actuators to deform the mirror.

0:43-0:48 But how do we create a strong enough magnetic field without adding noise and distortions to the image?

0:49-0:57 We designed a system comprised of permanent super magnets that have a 1‑tonne pulling force, enough to pull the weight of a small car.

0:58-1:02 But here's the problem: permanent magnets don't have an off switch…

1:03-1:13 Research determined that to create a safe, uniform magnetic field, 2 magnetic poles opposite each other, comprised of 2 super magnets each, would be needed.

1:14-1:23 A huge challenge was the design of a safe assembly process for the 4 super magnets that would be required to generate the necessary field strength.

1:24-1:29 Savvy engineering found a way to hold the magnets apart without them collapsing in on each other dangerously.

1:30-1:43 To accomplish this, we developed a precise assembly process to gradually marry the 2 pairs of magnets together. 1 pair will become the north pole of the super magnetic field, and the other pair will become the south pole.

1:44-1:48 We load 1 magnet at the top of the assembler and 1 at the bottom.

1:49-1:58 The magnetic pulling force between the top and bottom magnets causes the top magnet to slide down the ramp as the bottom magnet is pushed through with the hand crank.

1:59-2:02 This process is performed twice; once for each pole.

2:03-2:07 We then lock each pole into place by a vice to couple them together.

2:08-2:15 The use of shields over the outer edges of the magnets will prevent the magnetic field from dangerously pulling in other metallic objects.

2:17-2:27 We have now created a magnetic field that enables the motion of the Lorentz force actuators, which allows the deformable mirror to correct distorted images with incredibly low power consumption.

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