|Located at the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, the Subaru Telescope is a large-scale optical-infrared telescope run by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Kyocera participated in a project to achieve a 10-fold increase in performance of the telescope.
The Subaru Telescope has a reflector with a diameter of 8.5 meters and an optical lens. The optical system is calibrated for high accuracy, and to maintain stability of the system, Kyocera developed a cordierite with superior performance. In its original state, cordierite is porous and has low strength - use as a structural material was therefore limited. Kyocera developed a cordierite featuring density and high strength, as well as a coefficient of thermal expansion approaching zero. We completed a sintered unit with a diameter of 970mm. The lens barrel containing this large-scale ceramic structural unit has a maximum diameter of about one meter and total length of 1.7 meters. It is to be installed in the Subaru Telescope later this year as part of an ultra-wide-angle camera.
Photo by Todai Institute for Advanced Studies, The University of Tokyo Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe