This paper presents the finite element and wavefront error analysis with reverse engineering of the primary mirror of a small space telescope experimental model. The experimental space telescope with 280mm diameter primary mirror has been assembled and aligned in 2011, but the measured system optical performance and wavefront error did not achieve the goal. In order to find out the root causes, static structure finite element analysis (FEA) has been applied to analyze the structure model of the primary mirror assembly. Several assuming effects which may cause deformation of the primary mirror have been proposed, such as gravity effect, flexures bonding effect, thermal expansion effect, etc. According to each assuming effect, we establish a corresponding model and boundary condition setup, and the numerical model will be analyzed by finite element method (FEM) software and opto-mechanical analysis software to obtain numerical wavefront error and Zernike polynomials. Now new assumption of the flexures bonding effect is proposed, and we adopt reverse engineering to verify this effect. Finally, the numerically synthetic system wavefront error will be compared with measured system wavefront error of the telescope. By analyzing and realizing these deformation effects of the primary mirror, the opto-mechanical design and telescope assembly workmanship will be refined, and improve the telescope optical performance.

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