Lightweight Adaptive Metal Cooled Mirror

UAH-P-13012-Lightweight Adaptive Metal Cooled Mirror

Docket: UAH-P-13012


Additive manufacturing is the process of printing a three-dimensional structure based on a solid CAD model. A major advantage of additive manufacturing is its ability to create 3D structures that would otherwise be extremely difficult to produce. However, the capabilities of additive manufacturing have not been explored in regards to heat mitigation in optical mirrors, such as those used in solar collection systems.

Researchers at UAH have developed a unique additive manufacturing method for producing optical mirrors that can be actively or passively cooled with any desired spatial distribution. This provides solar collection systems a means of both adaptive control and efficiently extracting secondary heat from the mirror surface itself.

This invention combines the advantages of additive manufacturing and metal mirrors to enable precise, thermally controlled mirrors that can be lightweight and adaptive. This approach also allows for the integration of complex and accurate mounting structures to ease alignment, assembly, and subsequent manufacturing steps.


  • Laser based manufacturing
  • Solar concentrators
  • High energy lasers
  • Lightweight optics
  • Thermally controlled optics


  • Lightweight
  • Precise thermal control
  • Adaptive wave front correction
  • Efficient thermal energy extraction
  • Reduced cost for expensive materials


  • State of Development: Proof of concept
  • Licensing Status: Available for licensing
  • Patent Status: Patented