keywords: balloon-borne optical instrument, balloon-borne telescope, airborne telescope, space telescope, PlaneWave, Officina Stellare, US Air Force, space domain awareness, space debris detection, ASA Astrosysteme Austria, Goto observatory, robotic telescope, lightweight optical tube assembly, lasercom, free-space optical communication

20" f5.6 corrected mR-C optical instrument

It weighs just 65 pounds & requires only one corrective lens, offering the highest installed quality & throughput in the world.

Lightweight, highly engineered athermal optical instruments designed & made inside Dream since 2003: Nazareth, PA - USA

This brand new instrument is optimized for modern, small-pixel cameras for cutting-edge science & research; Sony IMX461 102Mp detector.

What can you do with an instrument that delivers sub arc-second resolution when traditional technologies are delivering 1.5-2 arc-second?
What can you do with a focal plane that delivers diffraction-limited optical performance & 100% illumination across the entire field?
What can you do with a 0.5m optical instrument that's: ~1m long, has a ~40% obscuration & weighs less than 30 kgs standard?
What can you do with cutting-edge, highly engineered lightweight optical mirrors (both M1 & M2) that have;


no print through,


finished to true diffraction-limit (HeNe) based on GenV interferometry taken while mirrors rest on their athermal CFSC mirror mounts, tested in Dream's 5m tall vertical test tower,


as low as L/100 RMS surface levels of MSF & (Small Satellite Conference NASA, JPL, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed)


less than 10Å (1nm) RMS surface roughness? Small spacecraft, space-borne optical instrument, balloon-borne optical instrument
What can you do with a 0.5m that has the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any optical instrument in its class because it honestly uses more engineered carbon fiber in the structures than any other telescope in the world, all produced inside Dream?
What can you do with an optical instrument that keeps itself clean, equalized to optical tolerances (a fraction of a degree C) & has a thermal footprint hundreds of times smaller than conventional technology optical instruments? Lockheed Martin Skunkworks advanced manufacturing
The real question is; What can't you do!keywords; optical telescope, optical instrument, lightweight optical telescope, lidar telescope

Dream Aerospace Systems' 20" f5.6 corrected mR-C has flawless performance across the entire field. Gone are the days of center-spot/best performance, with ever-worsening spot & illumination performance as you move away from the center of the field. Dream has spent the last two decades offering unparalleled mechanical, thermal & optical performance of the installed optical instrument. Dream offers optical surfaces that are typically smoother than solid mirrors, yet don't come with the mechanical & thermal baggage of that 200+ year old technology. Dream set out to build a better mousetrap and the unmatched performance speaks for itself. Dream is not mass-market & Dream has never (ever) had a return.

True Performance Never Fears Change. -It Defies The Status Quo.

optimized by Dream's optical engineer with 40 years experience.

SPOT DIAGRAM: 55mm diameter field (27.5mm off-axis) spot diagram to the left shows the industry-leading, fully corrected (diffraction-limited) performance of the lightweight Dream 20" f5.6 mR-C that uses only one corrective lens, for the ultimate in throughput.
FIELD: 39.6 x 52.9 arc-min (0.5819 deg²)
PLATE SCALE: 0.28 arc-sec/pixel using 3.76µm pixels (0.56 when binned 2x2)
American Meterorological Society AMS
AGU advancing Earth and space science
80% encircled energy for Dream's design (RMS radius row in bold) is never worse than the diffraction-limit, with some locations being 2x better than the diffraction-limit, providing margin.
Space Symposium space foundation
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy AURA
Mass-market companies will often over-size the boxes (40-100 microns per side) to make spots appear visually smaller, fooling buyers. Dream is an engineering company focused on installed performance, not empty promotional statements.

keywords: lightweight optical telescope, lightweight front surface mirrors, lightweight optical mirrors, lightweight optics, sandwich lightweight mirrors, pocket-milled optical mirror, berrylium lightweight mirror, space optics, honeycomb lightweight optical mirrors, optical system

SPOT MATRIX: 55mm diameter field (27.5mm off-axis) spot matrix performance shown to the right, separating out the visual spectrum colors individually (columns) and for on-axis (top row), to fully off-axis (bottom row).
Kepler Space Telescope KST, L3Harris Technologies
Note that both spot charts' colored graphics are showing 100% of the light energy, not just the 80% encircled energy.
Air Force Research Laboratory, Hubble Space Telescope HST

European Space Agency, NASA Ames Research Center,
This optical design can be optimized for other wavebands & even larger focal planes. It can also be quickly modified to provide wider fields. Dream has designed optical systems as fast as f1.35, and for focal planes as large as 135mm in diameter.
Contact Dream to discuss your specific needs.


GEOMETRIC ENCIRCLED ENERGY (GEE): for 55mm diameter field (27.5mm off-axis), separating out performance at different locations on the focal plane. Spot charts above show performance is diffraction-limited, meaning the visual differences to the left cannot be discerned in actual use. We show GEE for customers who work in optics on a daily basis.
Dream has dealt directly with mechanical, thermal & optical issues that have plagued optical systems for 400+ years - creating a better mousetrap.
Astronomical Society of the Pacific ASP, National Science Foundation
The diffraction-limited optical performance, along with essentially no thermal footprint (0.5m zeroDELTAlightweight mirror has no features thicker than 4mm), a smooth world-class optical finish, athermal carbon fiber structures & high-stiffness, allow tracking mount performance to be higher, since no mount can correct out random, dynamic errors that are being caused by unstable traditional instrument structures; thermal & mechanical. Survey & mosaic imaging is easier & more precise, requiring less overlap; a far higher throughput instrument.

Affect of M1's f-ratio (radius) on the total length of an optical instrument.

Affect of excess back focus on total length & "camera" stiffness.

F3, f2.5 & f2.0 M1's from left to right above.

Excess back focus increases the length of the tracking mount fork arms, increasing their size, weight, cost & flexure - all of which are undesireable.




Believe the atmosphere is your performance limit?
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Dream uses

Modern Optical Metrology

This revolutionary instrument is packed with technology & world-leading performance.
*- The highest stiffness, lowest mass structures & instruments, producing cutting-edge performance.
*- The most athermal optical instruments, by design. Higher & more consistent performance.

* Stop losing performance due to non-athermal mirror mounts that dynamically distort the precision optical surfaces as ambient temperature changes.
* Athermal eliminates the need for complex flexures or heavy, vibration-prone Invar metering rods. Dream's structures match the lightweight mirrors, creating the lightest, stiffest and highest performance instruments in the world.
* Stop losing time focusing. Dream's athermal optical instruments provide more open shutter time; higher throughput.
* Constantly re-focusing means focus will be missed more often, which will hurt resolution and intensity.
* Using a dichroic beam splitter with non-athermal optical instruments that come with near-constant focus shifts;


places the main camera & filter wheel 90° to the optical path, making the instrument unbalanced and often increases flexure.


creates optical quality loss due to yet another optical surface (dichroic), as well as quality loss due to bending of that dichroic surface, creating more dynamic performance losses.


for visual spectrum work, it forces NIR wavelength transmission, which is notorious for causing reflections.


adds more weight, causes more flexure and requires more back focus distance. Dream's athermal optical instruments don't need this crutch or the losses they create.

*- 95% of the structure weight (without glass optics) is carbon fiber with only 5% traditional metals (mostly stainless steel).

Make sure the instrument you're considering actually uses carbon fiber extensively, in reality, not just in promotional statements. Mass-market companies are infamous for using bait & switch tactics to sell products. While they say "carbon fiber telescope," most use 5-10% off-the-shelf (nothing special, not tuned) carbon fiber & 90-95% aluminum. Aluminum is cheap, easy to machine, low in stiffness & has a much higher Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE). Anodized aluminum isn't remotely close in mechanical or thermal properties to Dream's CFSC. There's no truth in advertising (buyer beware), which is one of the main reasons Dream was founded in 2003; to honestly make a better mousetrap. True performance doesn't require constant refocusing to compensate for low stiffness & non-athermal performance losses. Others who use flexures to deal with differential material CTE are creating low-stiffness, leading to additional performance losses. If a "carbon fiber telescope" requires Invar metering rods, the buyer has been deceived.

High altitude long endurance (HALE), high-altitude long endurance (HALE), HALE UAS, High-altitude pseudo-satellites (HAPS), high altitude pseudo satellites HAPS, Helios, Lindstrand, Odysseus, Airbus Zephyr
Defense intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), Defense intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), Aurora Flight Sciences, high altitude platform station (HAPS), High-Altitude Platforms HAPS

Knowledge is power. Ignorance a liability.
NASA ATLAS project - asteroid terrestrial-impact last alert system DFM colorado early detection of dangerous asteroids
near earth object (NEO), Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) detection, NEO & LEO & KBO search & recovery projects, NASA Near-Earth Object Observations Program

Since 2003 Dream has produced optical instruments with truly the highest amount of carbon fiber & Dream's CFSC of any company in the world. Dream has 20 years of advanced composite expertise because we design & fabricate all of our carbon fiber in house and always have. Others use aluminum and solid mirrors extensively (both are 200 year old technologies), which shows in the mass and flexure of their products. Dream's technologies produce instruments that are often 2-3 times lighter than others who claim to be "lightweight." Dream was founded because of the industry's obsession with deceptive practices & exaggerated claims. Dream's CFSC has been developed over the past 20 years and is an ideal technology for opto-mechanical systems; high modulus, low structure & thermal mass, with a Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) that matches Dream's other key in house technology; highly engineered zeroDELTA™ precision lightweight optical mirrors.
solar high altitude platform station HAPS, Earth Observing Systems (EOS), European Space Agency (ESA)

*- Instrument includes ASCOM-compliant focus & camera rotator built in.
*- Dream's zeroDELTA engineered lightweight optical mirrors have unrivaled installed performance.

* Mechanical: high stiffness of the mirror and for the supporting structures because the zeroDELTA precision lightweight optical mirrors are 3-6 times lighter than solid mirrors.
* Thermal: mirror seeing and tube currents are eliminated due to Dream's world-leading thin-featured zeroDELTA high-performance mirrors & Dream's FAST.
* Thermal: Dream's thin-featured zeroDELTA mirrors equalize hundreds of times faster than solid mirrors due to their extremely short thermal time constant. You wouldn't build a campfire under an optical system but that's the kind of performance limit & loss you get with a centuries-old problem; solid mirrors. The Schlieren images below of a 220mm solid mirror show the inconsistent & degraded performance that opticians & instrument makers have known about for centuries.

"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.

stratospheric balloon borne focal plane assembly, Caltech, MIT lincoln Labs, French National Space Agency CNES, Harvard center for astrophysics

* Optical: zeroDELTA M2's have been finished to as high as L/125 RMS surface HeNe (4.5x beyond the diffraction-limit), with 2Å (0.2nm) RMS surface roughness, maintaining this extreme performance over at least a +/-3°C temperature swing, which equals the stability of the finest grade of Zerodur.

0.6m Dream zeroDELTA lightweight mirror shown with 4D Technology PhaseCam; a technology born out of a NASA program for space telescopes.

* Optical: Dream's zeroDELTA™ optical mirrors have a complete lack of print through, offering the smooth surfaces of a solid mirror without the laundry list of performance losses associated with 200+ year old solid mirror technology.

PhaseCam's large, heavy & heat-producing laser module (left module) is separate from the small, lightweight head (8.2 pounds). This is the smallest, lightest & most sophisticated phase-shifting interferometer on the market. Dream uses it to finish the ultra smooth zeroDELTA lightweight mirrors.

For generally upward-looking applications, the lightweight mirrors are processed/finished based modern interfeometry data while the mirrors are in their final athermal CFSC mirror mounts, tested in Dream's 5m vertical test tower.

Outside Dream: 0.4m zeroDELTA lightweight mirror (<10 pounds with 2.5" edge height) being tested with a 4D Technology NanoCam™ HD on robot arm, quantifying the RMS surface roughness of the optical surface; the smallest scale errors. Dream's in-house polishing produces optical surfaces with 6-9Å (0.6-0.9nm) RMS surface roughness. Dream's polish & test room is 68°F, +/-1°F year-round.

Both the lightweight primary & secondary mirrors are coated with First Contact prior to shipping. This protects the precision optics during shipment & provides pristine optical surfaces for Dream's customers.

MIT Lincoln Labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NASA, NASA JPL, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Ames, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center GSFC
Lightweight carbon fiber structures, honeycomb sandwich core composites, CFRP, lightweight optical carbon fiber structures, lightweight carbon fiber structures for optical instruments.

Policies & WarrantyOpticalTubeAssembly,Opto-mechanical assemblyPrice: contact Dream SWaP-C: size, weight, and power, plus cost.

Dream can produce carbon fiber structures for zero-expansion optical sets, as well as full telescopes ranging from f1.35 to f20+, from UV to LWIR. The above instruments are often jumping off points. Contact Dream to discuss your project's requirements.


pricing, availability and specifications subject to change without notice

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