D r e a m--C e l l u l a r , L L C

Q u a l i t y

S t a r t s

A t

T h e

S u b s t r a t e

2015: Dream delivers a fast & demanding 300mm CA f3 (system f-ratio) Ritchey-Chrétien optical set for visual spectrum application.

M1 conic = -1.897, M2 conic = -98.450

These high departure lightweight mirrors were designed and engineered from scratch, based on the customer's support hardware and requirements. Both Dream mirrors have a double-conical profile which feature tapered ribs, numerous rib heights and thicknesses (all optimized through iterative FEA, for both polishing displacement and gravity displacement), and are bubble-free. Dream not only designs the mirrors but also casts, anneals and can process them in-house. This allows Dream complete design control, as well as empirical knowledge that is fed back into current and future designs. We have been designing, engineering and using lightweight mirrors in our carbon fiber instruments since 2003.

The photo above shows the as-cast, bubble-free mirror blank, prior to any work being done to it. Dream can directly cast convex, plano and concave surfaces.


2015: Dream successfully casts it's fastest mirror to date, f1.376, for an Adaptive Optics (AO) project. The mirror is bubble-free and is six times lower in areal density than Hubble's M1. This 16.5" physical OD mirror weighs just 9.5 pounds, yet is near a 6:1 aspect ratio. It was polished at Dream with a conventional overarm machine.

This is one of three mirrors (396mm f1.376, 247mm f2.26 and 393mm plano) that Dream is producing for this client. Each will be mounted in a dedicated CF and CFSC mirror mount, engineered and fabricated at Dream.

The photo above shows the fully polished mirror after Dream did generation, grinding and polishing work to it. Using a carbon fiber radius rod (desired length known to +/-0.025mm) the current as-measured radius is off by less than 0.2mm. The customer's tolerance is +/-1mm (+/-0.09%). Dream's current variance is less than 1/50th of 1%.

2015: Dream Cellular, LLC (DC) mirror finished to higher quality level than Hubble's M2.

* M2 for 24" Ritchey-Chrétien telescope produced by Dream Telescopes finished to exceptional quality and specification tolerances.Ritchey Chretien
* Convex DC mirror tested with QED SSIa, using the 2nd most powerful interferometer on the market. Ritchey-Chretien optics
* L/125 RMS surface, minimum L/20 P-V surface (632.8nm).
* Better than 10/5 scratch/dig. Ritchey-Chretien mirrors, Ritchey-Chretien telescope
* Radius off by only 15 microns; desired - 629.4mm, actual - 629.385mm.

"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
From the book "Mirror Mirror" by Mark Pendergrast QED MRF, QED MagnetoRheological Finishing, Magneto-Rheological Finishing, Jenoptik, Marc Neer, Jay Kumler

2015: New polishing & testing room complete.

* The new space separates out initial generation & grinding work from polishing.
* The new space allows vertical testing over the machines, which has both time and mechanical advantages. Not to mention a substantial reduction in risk to the engineered, lightweight mirrors.
* The new space grows polishing and it's required testing by a full magnitude.
* It is the most insulated space within Dream's three story building. Even interior walls are insulated.
* We will continue fitting out the room with equipment as we also work with new non-contact sensors that have 20nm resolution, which will be used for numerous pieces of equipment.
* Generation & grinding is now double it's original space.
We are currently working on mirrors ranging from f5.5 to f1.376, with a series of f0.5 concave mirrors that will be cast soon.  These mirrors are for everything from Newtonians to Dall-Kirkhams to Classical Cassegrains to Ritchey-Chretiens. Dream can provide full engineering for everything from the lightweight mirror to the carbon fiber mirror support and beyond. We work on applications ranging from tracking telescopes & optics to Adaptive Optics (AO) systems for multi-meter telescopes.

June 2014: Dream Telescopes has nearly completed the upgrade of its largest oven.

* Increasing air flow with a new, 700 pound 3-phase blower.
* Increasing heat capacity with all new, 3-phase heating elements that are 330% more powerful than the originals.
* The upgraded oven will ramp faster and be able to achieve much higher temperatures than before.

These upgrades are needed because of Dream's continued growth and new capabilities to supply meter-class telescopes.

Early June 2014: Work is complete. 480 volt, 3-phase power is up and running at Dream's new building.

Three transformers had to be added to the local service in order to provide Dream with the power it requires for new equipment, upgrading the large composite oven and future equipment (growth) at Dream.

Dream is capable of everything from creating the initial optical design to FEA of the lightweight mirror blanks and dedicated carbon fiber mirror supports to providing it's customers with completely finished opto-mechanical instruments.

May 2014
The new, 3-phase, large casting & annealing furnace arrives.

The interior dimensions of the new furnace are 1.4 meters in diameter by 0.9 meters in height.

Dream will be producing a 0.85 meter physical diameter mirror for a customer's custom telescope.

2014: Dream is proud to add three more to our team.

* Former Boeing Mechanical Engineer with extensive FEA expertise in Carbon Fiber.
* Optical Engineer with 30+ years experience in defense-related optical systems.
* Certified Composites Technician.
To read their full bios, click here.

February 4-6, 2014: QED Optics to display another engineered, lightweight Dream Cellular mirror at SPIE's Photonics West, booth #524 in San Francisco, CA.

September - November 2013: Dream Cellular casts & anneals three ~24" mirrors within three month's time. The new building is already benefiting both Dream companies. This highlights the reason Dream Cellular was formed in 2008; to take the place of vendors that could not deliver this type of product.

Dream is currently doing generation work on these three mirrors, as well as various round and elliptical M2's.

November 2013: Dream Cellular, LLC successfully casts f2.5 M1 and f2.78 M2 for Dream Telescopes' 24" telescope for NASA project. This telescope will receive lasercom from LADEE, a spacecraft that just last month started orbiting the Moon. A basic overview can be found here. Additional information and a video can be found here.

Dream is proud to be involved with this and other projects at the leading-edge of technology.

The telescope will be installed in 2014.

displays 16" Dream Cellular mirror at Optifab in Rochester, NY the week of October 14th, 2013.

Final figuring of this mirror will be performed by QED Optics using their patented MRF technology.

2013: Dream Cellular & Dream Telescopes move into a new facility. This 3-story shop is three times larger than the previous building. It provides both Dream companies with much needed utilities and space, with plenty of room to grow.

The space and additional features that the new facility offers are needed as Dream continues to become more vertically integrated, relying less on outside vendors.

2013: Over the past two years Dream has brought all generation work in-house for Dream Cellular mirror blanks. Generation work includes; plano-grinding the back of the mirrors (as well as the face for plano mirrors), edging, beveling and grinding of convex and concave optical faces. Dream has designed and built machines that are processing the mirrors using loose abrasives, diamond-based tooling and computer grinding & polishing machines.

Dream is currently working on setting up vertical testing that will occur over it's polishing/figuring machines. In late November of 2013 4D Technologies will be visiting Dream to demonstrate one of their dynamic interferometers that is specifically designed to show mid-spatial frequency errors. This demonstration will show how it performs in Dream's facility and on multiple Dream Cellular mirrors.

2013: Dream is currently polishing a custom 16" f3 Dream Cellular mirror that will fly aboard a Gulfstream V jet. The completely bubble-free mirror is 16.5" physical OD, 2.5" tall and weighs 9.8 pounds. The mirror is a double-conical design with back flanges. It's areal density is 6 times lower than Hubble's lightweight M1.

The telescope will fly in 2014.

  Press Release - October 2010: 12.5" Dream Cellular blank, ~3.3 pound finished weight.

Press Release - May 12th, 2010: CTE of Dream Cellular blanks is independantly tested. The average CTE of Dream's lightweight mirrors is 2.6-2.7x10-6/K. Pyrex and Borofloat 33 have a CTE that is 22.6% higher.

Press Release - Late-April 2010: Dream Telescopes & Acc., Inc. obtains first light with instrument using Dream Cellular, LLC's lightweight mirrors. Low mass mirrors allow instrument to hold optical collimation all-sky, on fast instrument using large CCD chip. Rapid thermal equalization promotes high quality optical performance, due to the engineered mirrors.  

Press Release - Mid-April 2010: Dream Cellular, LLC debuts recently designed 24" mirror that weighs 28 pounds.  

Press Release - February 2010: Dream Cellular, LLC gives Advanced Glass Industries (AGI) sole distributorship of its engineered, lightweight mirror blanks. Tony Marino, AGI's owner, has been servicing the optics industry for almost 35 years.  

Press Release - January 23rd, 2010: Optician Mike Lockwood discusses Dream Cellular's engineered mirror blanks.
...."I have been pleased with the quality of Dream Cellular's cast cellular mirror blanks. In my experience they deliver quality castings with low strain, and I have been pleasantly surprised by their prompt deliveries.
....The incredibly fast cool-down time of cast cellular optical substrates provides a performance advantage. As an engineer I appreciate the time Dream takes to analyze the mechanical design of these glass structures. Support points are designed into the structure, thereby removing guesswork from the design of the mirror support. This is how it should be done.
....Having worked a good number of cast cellular blanks, I can say that Dream's carefully designed blanks can be polished and figured to the same precision as monolithic blanks. In my mind, the "dreaded" print-through is a non-issue for a skilled optician."

Press Release  
January 2010 - A Dream Cellular 28.5" engineered cellular mirror blank was generated. The mirror blank was designed for central rim support of lateral forces, with axial forces supported at designated insert point locations. Images of the blank being machined can be seen here.


Press Release

Nazareth, PA, November 18th, 2009 - Dream Cellular, LLC., is proud to be recognized by the editors of Sky & Telescope Magazine as a Hot Product for 2010 for our technology and achievements .

Press Release
Nazareth, PA, September 25th, 2009 - Dream Cellular, LLC., a manufacturer of lightweight engineered cellular mirror blanks, is proud to announce the successful casting of a ~16" engineered cellular mirror blank at our facility. This perforated, f2.9 mirror blank is a modified design that meets this and other customer's requirements for Cassegrain optical sets. A 5" cellular secondary mirror blank was also produced for the specific client. The optical sets ROC's and other features were modified, then the blanks were cast and annealed in less than three weeks from the time the customer placed their order. If this 16" engineered cellular blank is compared to a typical, monolithic optic made of Zerodur, our mirror blank has a Thermal Time Constant (TTC) that is 122 times faster.

Dream's blanks have the same face thickness across the entire blank, matching the customer's ROC requirements and making the designs structurally and thermally more efficient. We do not suffer the difficulties associated with pocket milling, where the bottom of the pockets is typically stepped, not smoothly matching the ROC of the optical face.

Press Release
Nazareth, PA, September 18th, 2009 - Dream Cellular, LLC., a manufacturer of lightweight engineered cellular mirror blanks, is proud to announce the successful casting of a ~29" engineered cellular mirror blank at our facility. This blank is a new design that meets this a specific customer's needs but other customer's specific requirements. It can be used either with a face at the center or perforated. It was engineered specifically for central support of lateral forces. Axial forces are loaded in a fairly conventional 18-point arrangement. The first 0.7m-size blank Dream produced earlier this year and debuted at NEAF was designed for outer rim lateral support. The two blanks are completely different from each other because of these numerous differences. The Thermal Time Constant (TTC) of this ~29" engineered optic is roughly 39 times faster than a thin (1-7/8" thick) monolithic optic. When this optic is compared to a 6:1 thickness ratio (full thickness) monolithic mirror, the TTC of Dream Cellular's optic is 251 times faster.

Watch for Dream's ad in the upcoming issues of Sky & Telescope Magazine, starting mid-September, 2009.

About Dream Cellular, LLC
Dream Cellular, LLC. was formed in 2008 in order to provide its sister company,
Dream Telescopes & Accessories Inc., with a more reliable source for cellular mirror blanks. Designed, engineered, and produced in-house, Dream's cellular blanks incorporate design features not found in any other cellular product. Dream Cellular uses extensive engineering in both design, casting and annealing to produce highly efficient cellular optics that have a much faster Thermal Time Constant (TTC) than monolithic optics or thick-featured "lightweight" substrates. Extensive structural engineering and FEM/FEA is utilized to reduce polishing and gravity displacement. The extensive engineering related to polishing displacements makes Dream's blanks uniquely workable by opticians. Dream Cellular has worked with major glass manufacturers to create the first FEA-based annealing schedules of any commercial company offering cellular optics. Due to their much thinner rib structures and 3-4x greater surface area, these optics equalize (TTC) far faster than standard monolithic optics and their light weight design also makes them easier to support in a rigid fashion. Design features such as axial support locations for traditional flotation cells, insert points with recessed protrusions for flexures, flat profile details in key areas for bipod flexure attachment and a host of other features can all be designed into the substrates, per customer specification. These features allow for easier mounting of the optics and can help the optic maintain a higher level of figure quality. Because the entire process is done in-house, Dream can also very accurately control the as-designed vs. as-cast variances and produce optics that meet or exceed spec. Dream's extensive engineering and innovative designs, coupled with our casting tolerances, means that Dream's engineered cellular blanks are truly unique in the world. Dream knows firsthand how detrimental unreliable deliveries and large casting variances can be. Dream prides itself in producing the most optimized and modern version of the nearly 100 year old technology that is lightweight mirrors. Contact Dream to discuss your latest OEM or individual project.




Contact: shane @

Copyright Dream Cellular, LLC All Rights Reserved.