LightSight

LightSight is an open-source system for the fabrication of extremely low cost parabolic mirrors for the use in amateur telescopes. 

We will achieve this goal by applying our team’s familiarity with epoxy and cnc machine construction to develop a machine that uses the controlled dispensing of epoxy on a spinning bed in order to achieve a parabolic form that can then be plated in order to make a mirror for the use in telescopes.

We want to offer the world a radically cheaper alternative to existing methods for the production of parabolic mirrors for the use in telescopes. In order to achieve this goal, we will use a computer controlled spinning turntable upon which epoxy resin are deposited upon through a computer controlled system of pumps. We aim to create mirrors of a diameter of 18 inches or more, as are appropriate for the use in optical systems, for the identification and tracking of asteroids that pose a potential threat of impact with our own planet. We will achieve this low cost through the appropriate use of pre-existing technologies, by integrating existing hobby level components into a complete and easy to use assembly.

Our sole target in this phase is the creation of a basic epoxy, parabolic form that can subsequently be plated to form a mirror in telescopes with minimal post-process machining. We are orienting our design towards forming the epoxy mirror bases at a size of around 20 inches. This is a proven technology. We want to make it more mainstream by integrating existing low-cost maker oriented technology such as Arduinos, common aluminum extrusion and open source software into a fully documented system with easy assembly instructions.

We will also create and host a community centered on our community for the future open-source improvement and exploration of this technology.

LightSight websiteProject proposal | Technical report