The ZEUS Beam Expander Telescope is laser beam expander designed and manufactured by Welch Mechanical Designs for SPARTA, Inc. It is used to expand the output of a high-power industrial fiber laser to 9.84 inches (250 mm) and focus that output downrange. Its primary purpose is to neutralize unexploded ordnance and improvised explosive devices.
The ZEUS system is composed of a 9.84-inch (250-mm) telescope with motorized focusing, an adjustable focus laser and collimator assembly, an optical breadboard and a multi-panel enclosure. The system is sealed to minimize dust intrusion by means of a 10-inch (254-mm) optical window at the telescope output. The telescope is mounted to the breadboard using custom-designed flexures to help isolate the telescope from distortion. The enclosure is also mounted to the breadboard behind the telescope. The enclosure houses the laser collimator assembly and the electronics. The entire system is designed to be very rugged for military deployment.
In late 2012, WMD upgraded the focusing system of the laser/collimator assembly to one of our new hexapod adjustment systems.
This was WMD's first attempt at a non-traditional alignment method for a telescope by moving the primary rather than the secondary. This eliminated the need for spider vanes at the secondary and their associated beam obscuration. However, the increased complexity of mechanisms for moving the heavier primary mirror was not offset by the benefit of reduced beam obscuration. In our most recent high-power beam expanders, we have returned to alignment via the secondary mirror while still employing a window mount rather than a structural spider. A single spider vane is used to protect the focus mechanism wiring, producing a much better balance of reducing obscuration and retaining a more traditional focus mechanism.