As discussed in previous posts, large telescopes today use a segmented mirror approach due to the deformation of mirrors larger than 5m. To this end, mirror actuators become a critical component of telescope design. A long-time National Instruments partner, Physik Instrumente
uses nanopositioning techniques to provide 6 degrees of freedom control on the mirrors. Mirror actuators are critical
as they represent a large portion of the failures in existing actuators.
The TMT telescope
which stands for Thirty Meter Telescope solves the problem by shrinking the individual mirror size down to 1 foot and then applying many more actuators to the mirror to deform the shape to correct for atmospheric conditions.