Safran Reosc wins ELT contract

Posted on 17 Jun 2017 and read 572 times
Safran Reosc wins ELT contractThe European Southern Observatory (ESO) has awarded a contract to Safran Reosc (www.safran-reosc.com), a Safran Electronics & Defense company, to polish, mount and test all segments in the M1 primary mirror for Europe’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), which will be the world’s most powerful telescope when it enters service.

Safran Reosc has now won contracts for four mirrors in this programme, having already been chosen for all previous ones awarded by ESO: the six-segment M4 mirror in 2015, then in 2016 and 2017 the production contracts for the M2, M3 and M4 mirrors.

Producing the primary mirror is a major business win for Safran Reosc, making the company the world leader in large astronomical mirrors.

The primary mirror contract, which will take seven years to complete, will see Safran Reosc make and polish 931 optical segments — plus there is an option for 133 spares.

Each segment is an aspherical, hexagonal glass-ceramicmirror that measures 1.5m from point to point. Once assembled, these segments will form the telescope’s 39m-diameter primary mirror.

Safran Reosc has developed “unrivalled expertise” in polishing these types of high-performance mirrors. Segments will be polished until any surface irregularities are so small that they would be no higher than a ‘ladybug’ if each segment was the size of France!

To meet the M1 challenge, Safran Reosc will create 90 new jobs for highly qualified personnel.

Some 50 of these jobs will be at Safran’s Poitiers plant; this specialises in the production of high-tech optical and optronic (electro-optical) equipment and will set up a new production facility dedicated to this project.

The company will also create 40 new positions at its Saint-Pierre-du-Perray plant.

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