Research and Development

The R&D programme of the Facility is geared to meeting the needs of real and challenging applications in industry, and for the next-generation of facilities to underpin the Science Base.  At the top level, this can often be summarised in, “better, faster, cheaper”.

Whilst the R&D portfolio is constantly evolving, the following gives a general overview of some particular areas of interest:

Advanced optical manufacturing (CNC polishing, grolishing, grinding)
  • novel tooling including active or adaptive tooling
  • advanced fixturing and handling systems etc.
  • tool-path design
  • management of surface artefacts – mid spatial frequencies, edge misfigure, texture
  • modelling and numerical optimisation, including high-performance computing
Basic research in surface removal mechanisms (experimental, numerical simulation etc)

Metrology of complex surfaces, including:-
  • on-machine metrology
  • contact and non-contact profilometry
  • full-aperture and sub-aperture stitching interferometry and other techniques
  • data analysis techniques, including high-performance computing
  • uncertainty of measurement – management of systematic and random errors
  • environmental effects on measurement
Lightweight mirrors using composite or other advanced materials with Glyndŵr University's Advanced Composites Training and Development Centre
  • materials science
  • static, dynamic and thermal finite element modelling
  • experimental systems and characterisation

Total process optimisation and automation – reducing time and cost of manufacture