Exo-planet imaging systems -- The search for exo-planets by direct imaging require telescope systems that have a high angular resolution and low diffraction scattering. Since these exo-planets are many orders of magnitude less bright than there companion star the contrast (even when using focal plane masks) must be very high. Exo-planet imaging systems also require minimal scattering due to mid-spatial frequency errors on their primary and secondary mirrors. The specification for the Jovian planet finder optical system was less than 1 nm rms in the 4 – 50 cycles/aperture range10. Cube and Nano-cube optical payloads -- CubeSats are very small satellites built to a standard dimension. The cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a volume of about one quart and weigh about 3 pounds. These small satellites can be launched by a common deployment system. The low-cost and small size allows universities, companies, government agencies access to space-borne systems. Monolithic optical systems fit with this need to keep payloads simple, compact, and rugged.
Monolithic optical assemblies The idea of a solid optical system assembly is not a new one. However they have been created by gluing individual optical components together to make the assembly. Also spherical optics and still typically used. The Optimax innovation would combine the use of freeform optics and a true non-epoxy monolithic assembly for such instrumentation as spectrometers, biomedical devices, beam combiners, lasers, and interferometers. The stability, compactness, and maintenance free operation of monolithic optical system could be used universally; while freeform surfaces would improve optical performance.