- Dream News -

Elbit Systems (Israel) visits Dream to learn more about its core technologies and potential use for space telescopes.


- November 15th, 2017


European telescope manufacturer receives first Dream 10" f3 zeroDELTAprimary mirror blank for their Cassegrain telescopes.


"Can I say: holy cow!! This looks awesome!! Can't wait to get my hands on it."

- after receiving high-resolution photos prior to shipping the mirror out.

"Just a quick update: mirror blank was delivered. It looks marvelous. Thank You!"

- November 10th, 2017


Dream finishes two more lightweight aspheres: 16" f3.0 and 16" f3.75.


Both mirrors were produced, fully processed & finished in-house.
They have the same smooth Mid-Spatial Frequency (MSF) and surface roughness errors as shown on this page.

- October, 2017


Custom carbon fiber structure for 25" R-C Cassegrain telescope using solid ULE (zero-expansion) mirrors.

Carbon fiber backplate assembly.


As with all Dream telescopes, 95% of the structure weight (telescope without optics) is carbon fiber, with only 5% conventional metals.

Update (late 2017/early 2018): Dream will fly to Turkey to help our client install the solid ULE mirrors in the carbon fiber telescope.
 

Truly ruggedized carbon fiber telescope structures designed and produced inside Dream. These structures have an extremely low CTE and incredibly high stiffness, which are enabling qualities for opto-mechanical and electro-optical structures.

Dream's carbon fiber technology is not just good with Dream's engineered lightweight mirrors but also quite ideal for zero-expansion mirrors as well, like the ULE mirrors this telescope will be used with.

SolidWorks view of full CAD model of the telescope. 


Custom 16" f2 IR (Cassegrain) telescope for USAF missile tracking using Dream's zeroDELTA technologies.

M1 & M2 were Dream's engineered, lightweight mirrors.
 

Click above to read a white paper describing how NASA lunar survey images were used to quantify this telescope's resolution.

Read the paper to learn how close to nominal Dream was able to get the radii of M1 & M2.
 

 
 

Dream's zeroDELTA lightweight M1 weighed only 9.5 pounds and has no decernable print through, a testament and the purpose of Dream's extensive engineering and heritage.


Dream also provided the nearly 16" long, 6-lens IR relay, which included Ge, ZnS & ZnSe lenses inside a carbon fiber barrel with carbon fiber lens spacers.

 

SolidWorks slice view of full CAD model of telescope. 

Athermal telescope using Dream's in-house carbon fiber for 95% of the structure weight (telescope without optics), with only 5% conventional metals.
 

Dream did all work to M1 inside our dedicated 7000 square foot facility in Nazareth, PA. This includes: design & engineering, casting & annealing of the raw mirror blank, generation, grinding and polishing/finishing, getting the radii of the asphere within 0.01% of nominal.


f1.376

The photo above shows the as-cast, bubble-free mirror blank, prior to any work being done to it. Dream can directly cast convex, plano and concave surfaces.

Dream casts and finishes it's fastest mirror to date, f1.376, for an Adaptive Optics (AO) project. The bubble-free mirror is six times lower in areal density than Hubble's M1. This 16.7" physical OD mirror weighs just 9.5 pounds and is nearly 6:1 aspect ratio over its CA.


This is was one of three mirrors (396mm f1.376, 247mm f2.26 and 393mm plano) that Dream produced for this client. Each was mounted in a dedicated CF and CFSC mirror mount, engineered and fabricated inside Dream.

 

Dream did all work to this mirror inside our dedicated 7000 square foot facility in Nazareth, PA. This includes: design & engineering, casting & annealing of the raw mirror blank, generation, grinding and polishing.

Dream delivers a fast & demanding 300mm CA f3 (system f-ratio) Ritchey-Chrétien optical set for visual spectrum application.

M1 conic = -1.897, M2 conic = -98.450

These high departure lightweight mirrors were designed and engineered from scratch, based on the customer's support hardware and requirements. Dream took existing designs from our library and modified them per the customer's needs. Both mirrors were optimized through numerous, iterative FEA, for both polishing displacement and gravity displacement. Dream not only designs the mirrors but also casts, anneals and can process them in-house. This allows Dream complete design control, as well as empirical knowledge that is fed back into current and future designs. We have been designing and engineering lightweight mirrors since 2003.


Dream engineered lightweight mirror finished to higher quality level than Hubble's M2.

* M2 for 24" Dream Ritchey-Chrétien telescope.
* Hyperboloidal convex DC mirror tested with QED SSIa, using the 2nd most powerful interferometer on the market.
* L/125 RMS surface, minimum L/20 P-V surface (632.8nm).
* Better than 10/5 scratch/dig.
* Radius off by only 15 microns; desired - 629.4mm, actual - 629.385mm.
The 40+ year master optician tested the mirror three times over the course of five days to determine stability of the figure. It never dropped below the above quality and showed the same stability as hundreds of zero-expansion mirrors that the optician has finished over their career.

Dream's finished telescopes use more carbon fiber than any other company in the world. 95% of the structure weight is carbon fiber, with only 5% being traditional metals. Other companies call their products "carbon fiber telescopes" but they typically use 5-10% CF and 90-95% traditional metals, with the vast majority of that 90-95% being high-CTE, inexpensive aluminum.
Dream uses carbon fiber and especially carbon fiber sandwich core in the following; 
---* Telescope Tube
---* Intergral Tube Mounting Flange Plates
---* M1 Supports
---* M1 Conical Baffle
---* Backplate
---* M2 Supports
---* M2 Baffle
---* Spider Hub Plates, Including Actuator Support Plates
---* Spider Vane Load Spreader Plates


"We shall look back and see how inefficient, how primitive it was to work with thick, solid mirrors, obsolete mirror-curves, ..." - George Willis Ritchey 1928
JRASC, Vol. XXII, No. 9, November 1928

2015: New polishing & testing room complete.

* The new space separates out initial generation & grinding work from polishing.
* The new space allows vertical testing, including over the machines, which has both time and mechanical advantages. Not to mention a substantial reduction in risk to the engineered, lightweight mirrors.
* The new space grows polishing and it's required testing by a full magnitude.
* It is the most insulated space within Dream's three story building. Even interior walls are insulated. Temperature and humidity are maintained to 68°F, +/-1°F and 55%, +/-10% RH all year long.
* We will continue fitting out the room with equipment as we also work with new non-contact sensors that have 20nm resolution, which will be used for numerous pieces of equipment.
* Generation & grinding is now double it's original space.
We are currently working on mirrors ranging from f1.376 to f5.5.  These mirrors are for everything from Newtonians to Dall-Kirkhams to Classical Cassegrains to Ritchey-Chretiens. Dream can provide full engineering for everything from the lightweight mirror to the carbon fiber mirror support to optical design & analysis using Zemax. We work on applications ranging from tracking telescopes, LIDAR, LaserComm, Adaptive Optics (AO) and from UV to far IR.

Independent pull out data on Dream's stainless steel inserts.

Dream's 29 gram (~1/16th of a pound) inserts have an average pull out strength of 2995 pounds.

In the first year of Dream it was quickly realized that off-the-shelf inserts designed for composites did not come close to the performance required for Dream's structure. We have been making our own stainless steel inserts ever since. The data shows off our level of expertise and the performance our customers can expect.

Click on the chart to the right to see the results and additional information.


2014

Three new thick-walled Carbon Fiber skinned Sandwich Core (CFSC) tubes are made in the recently upgraded composite oven.


The OD of the tubes shown to the left are 30", 30" and 20". The tube on the far left is 80" tall for a 24" f3.5 Dream Astrograph. The other tubes are for a 24" custom R-C Cassegrain telescope and a 16" custom Dream Astrograph telescope. Dream uses the thickest sandwich core because of the performance (stiffness) gains they produce.


2014: Dream completes upgrades to the largest composite oven.

* Increased air flow with a new, 700 pound 3-phase blower.
* Increased heat capacity with all new, 3-phase heating elements that are 3.3 times more powerful than the originals.
* The upgraded oven ramps faster and is able to achieve higher temperatures than before.

These upgrades are needed because of Dream's continued growth and new capabilities to supply meter-class telescopes.


2014: Dream is proud to add three more to our team.

* Former Boeing Mechanical Engineer with extensive FEA expertise with Carbon Fiber and CFSC.
* Optical Engineer with 30+ years experience in defense-related optical systems; Vis - LWIR.
* Certified Composites Technician.
To read their full bios, click here.


Early June 2014: Work is complete. 480 volt, 3-phase power is up and running at Dream's new building.


Three transformers had to be added to the local service in order to provide Dream with the power it requires for new equipment, upgrading the large composite oven and future equipment (growth) at Dream.

Dream is capable of everything from creating the initial optical design to FEA of the lightweight mirror blanks and dedicated carbon fiber mirror supports to providing it's customers with completely finished opto-mechanical instruments.


May 2014
The new, 3-phase, large casting & annealing furnace arrives.

The interior dimensions of the new furnace are 1.4 meters in diameter by 0.9 meters in height.


December 2013: Congratulations to Tenagra Observatories for winning the coveted Edgar Wilson Award using a 16" f3.75 Dream Astrograph telescope to discover six comets in 2013.

Using one Dream telescope, Tenagra discovered half of the comets found by all private observatories.


September - November 2013: Dream casts & anneals three ~24" mirrors within three month's time. The new building is already benefiting both Dream companies. This highlights the reason Dream developed its own in-house casting process; to take the place of vendors that could not deliver these products.


Dream is currently doing generation work on these three mirrors, as well as various round and elliptical mirrors.


November 2013: Dream successfully casts the f2.5 M1 and f2.78 M2 for a Dream Telescopes' 24" telescope used for a NASA project. This telescope will receive lasercom from LADEE, a spacecraft that just last month started orbiting the Moon. A basic overview can be found here. Additional information and a video can be found here.


displays 16" Dream engineered, lightweight mirror at Optifab in Rochester, NY the week of October 14th, 2013.


Final figuring of this mirror will be performed by QED Optics using their patented MRF technology.

2013: Dream is currently polishing a custom 16" f3 lightweight mirror that will fly aboard a Gulfstream V jet. This 2nd generation, completely bubble-free mirror is 16.5" physical OD, 2.5" tall and weighs 9.8 pounds. The mirror is a double-conical design, that features back flanges.


Because the carbon fiber telescope will fly inside the cabin, it needs to pass FAA/FAR flame tests. Dream has successfully passed coupon testing at Dream and also at an independent lab.


2013: Dream moves into the new facility. It is the third space Dream Telescopes has had since it was founded in 2003. Dream occupies the entire 3-story building. It is three times larger than the previous facility and almost seven times larger than Dream's first space. It provides much needed utilities and space, with room to grow.


The space and additional features that the new facility offer are needed as Dream continues to become more vertically integrated, relying less on outside vendors.

2013: Dream Telescopes creates a new focuser for corrected Newtonian telescopes. Shown to the right is the new focuser with a 3-element coma corrector installed that is 4" OD, 6.25" long. The focuser uses an actuator that can lift 91 pounds at 1.5 microns per step. The focuser's OD is 5.0" OD. It is 5.25" tall and weighs just 3.4 pounds, including the actuator. Dream is currently designing a variation for a moving M2 on a Dream Cassegrain telescope for a NASA project.


The initial models and FEA (Finite Element Analysis) were done using SolidWorks. The focuser was also physically tested by projecting a laser 42.5 feet and measuring deflections with up to 30 pounds of load installed.


2013: Over the past two years Dream has brought all generation work in-house for Dream's lightweight mirrors. Generation work includes; plano-grinding the back of the mirrors (as well as the face for plano optical face mirrors), edging, beveling and grinding of convex and concave optical faces. Dream has designed and built machines that are processing the mirrors using loose abrasives, diamond-based tooling and computer grinding & polishing machines.


Dream is currently working towards vertical testing that will occur over it's polishing/figuring machines. In late November of 2013 4D Technologies will be visiting Dream to demonstrate one of their dynamic interferometers that is specifically designed to show mid-spatial frequency errors. The demonstration will show how it performs in Dream's facility and on multiple Dream lightweight mirrors.

August 14th, 2010: another Dream Astrograph is born and enters Dream's thorough test out procedure.
August 20th, 2010: 249 images later (20+Mb each), the telescope passes the full battery of our tests with flying colors. It is ready to ship to the customer.

Click on either image to see additional information and images.


NEW VIDEOS


September, 2010 issue of Sky & Telescope: published collaboration image using Dream Astrograph telescope.

Click on either image to see additional information and higher resolution images.


May-June, 2010: Latest 16" f3.75 Dream Astrograph client received their telescope in Belgium and now has achieved first light in their remote observatory in France.

Click on either image to see additional information and higher resolution images.


May 19th, 2010: 16" f3.75 Dream Astrograph discovers NEO on 15th night of use at Tenagra Observatories. Addional information can be found midway down on Tenagra's web site.

 

UPDATE... June 6th, 2010: Tenagra discovers second NEO with their 16" f3.75 Dream Astrograph. On average it is discovering 35 new asteroids and about 400 existing asteroids and/or comets, per night!


Dream Telescopes & Acc., Inc. is proud to be the first company in history to offer a standard product line that includes such extensive use of Carbon Fiber skinned Sandwich Core (CFSC) in combination with Dream's engineered lightweight mirrors (cellular). Both technologies are designed, engineered and produced in-house. Years of developing and in-field testing of complete systems have culminated in very unique opto-mechanical capabilities and expertise. Dream's products are far more efficient than decade and even centuries-old technologies.

Recent Images


Click on either image to see additional Dream carbon fiber skinned sandwich core tubes shipped to a Hawaii client for more of their 16" f5 IR telescopes using solid ULE mirrors. The telescope is used by the US Air Force.

Each tube has 9 different internal, knife-edge baffles.


Dream Cellular, LLC debuts the new 24" engineered lightweight mirror at a local trade show. The 28 pound optic will become a part of the ultra-lightweight 24" f3.5 Dream Astrograph. The telescope will be over six feet long, yet it will weigh approximately 110 lbs.

This optic has polishing and gravity displacement performance 2.5x better than the previous 24" design, which shows how far Dream Cellular has come in a very short time.

Click on either image to learn more.


Dream is hired to design 1m telescope and facility for cutting edge project.

Prime Focus Corrector (PFC) is designed September, 2008. The first lens element will be 350mm in diameter. Detailed analysis of PFC, including tolerances, is completed March, 2009.

1m telescope, 40" telescope, 40" primary mirror, 40" mirror, 1m mirror

Click on either image to learn more.


Additional 24" cellular primaries arrived October, 2008.
 

The 24" Dream Astrograph was redesigned to accomodate a custom 4" coma corrector. This gave Dream a chance to incorporate new features that were not part of the original design.


Click on either image to see the tubes and dovetails that Dream has made for a 16" f5 IR telescope used by the US Air Force.
 

This is the same tube profile used on Dream's 16" f3.75 corrected telescope.


Custom 3" sight tube, 3" Cheshire and 3" AutoCollimator for the Dream Astrograph line of telescopes are now in stock, as well as the new wooden case for these tools.
 

Click on either image to learn and see more.


The new 16" Dream Astrograph Tube version is now being offered with a 4" focuser and ~1.4 lbs, 5.75" minor axis lightweight secondary mirror.


The new 4" Off-Axis-Guider, designed to mate directly with the custom 4" coma corrector, is shown to the left with the LodeStar autoguider that weighs only 74 grams.
 

You can read more about the 4" OAG by clicking on either photo.


11/9/07 - Sandwich core carbon fiber tube and 3" coma corrector ready to ship to international client.


3/2/07 - Sandwich core carbon fiber tube and other carbon fiber products ship.
3/9/07 - "My tube arrived in perfect condition yesterday. It looks great and is a real piece of Art. Thanks for great work in putting it together." Jon T.
6/2/07 - "The big difference is in tube flex. There is none! I had tube flex with (my original) metal tube version. This tube is rock solid." Jon T.

Click on the image to learn more about this product, to see Jon's M104 image taken through this telescope and to see the first light image through a 10" f5 Dream Astrograph Jon is currently testing (August 2007). 


2/19/07 - Dream completes design/CAD work for 32" Danish Project.
 
Click on the image to learn more about this unique project.


Carbon fiber mount for 7.75" minor axis lightweight elliptical flat.


11/28/06 - Dream is now the only US distributor of a modern cleaning fluid. Click on the images to the left for additional information.
 
In the last year this product has been used to clean everything from the Hope Diamond to a Keck hexagonal segment (now twice: January 2007). Over the next year it will be used to clean a 4m mirror.
 
3/22/07 - First Contact Spray now available. 


1/25-26/06 - Dream's large oven used to cook 6' x 8' carbon fiber racing chassis.
Click on the image to learn more about this item. 


1/4/07 - Dream is shipping new samples to a Denmark customer.
 
Click on the image to see multiple products of Dream under extreme loads. Shown to the left is a 6.8 pound arch under 240 lbs of load.


12/19/06 - Dream completes and ships electronic's module for UAV.
Click on the image to learn more about this project. 


12/1/06 - Dream shipped out a 16" OD carbon fiber sandwich cored tube for a client in Switzerland.
 
Click on the image for additional information and the client's note.


10/06/06 - DuPont grants Dream permission to use Sandwich Core Chart.


9/24/06 - receipt of CO2 snow gun for testing.
- To see examples of CO2 snow cleaning in the optics industry, look near the bottom of this link.
- Basic information here.
- More detail on the process here.
- Receipt of 50lb liquid CO2 tank: 9/29/06. 


10/10/06 - Dream's local roll off observatory is complete.
- The observatory is a much needed facility for Dream.
- Dream would like to thank Steve Mazlin for graciously allowing the initial test out of the 16" Dream Astrograph at his domed observatory. His patience and hospitality are greatly appreciated.
- Additional photos here.


PREVIOUS PROJECTS... 


Completed rapid CAD prototyping for a customer's kick-off meeting with the US Navy. Meeting occured one week after Dream was initially contacted by this customer. Click on the image to the right for additional information.


Dream was hired to do the initial design work for a unique roll off structure to house a 38" telescope. The unique enclosure was designed to be approximately 20 feet by 30 feet. A control room will be housed at one end of the structure.


pricing, availability and specifications subject to change without notice