I am interested in experimenting with the building of a large parabolic primary mirror constructed from 4" hexagon mirrors mounted on a "rough" parabolic surface with either 3 screw adjustments for each individual mirror or (eventually) Arduino controlled adjusters. Any constructive advise on methods or procedure would be most helpful.

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    $\begingroup$ That sounds very hard. How much experience have you had in mirror making? I don't think this is an obvious first project. $\endgroup$ – James K Jul 22 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ I you would like to make a solar concentrator for boiling water, this can be done with screws. But if you want to make even a very low power telescope you'll need a computer program and detailed image analysis to know how your Arduino-controlled adjusters should tilt each segment. If you have two rings of hexagons that's 18 mirrors x 3 degrees of freedom per mirror (height, and x and y tilts), or 54 independent degrees of freedom. All you have is a blurry image and what's needed is a computer program that can analyze the image and dither all the axes to figure out how to converge on $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 22 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ While the process of hand-grinding and figuring a one-piece mirror for amateurs is quite well understood and documented, I thing figuring a segment of a paraboloid without a sophisticated computer-controlled grinding machine would be impossible, and I don't think it is possible to divide an already-figured mirror into segments without destroying its figure. $\endgroup$ – antlersoft Jul 22 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ Did anyone do the calculation or simulation on the goodness of imaging, if that were done with flat 1st-surface mirrors (which are much more readily available)? $\endgroup$ – planetmaker Jul 23 at 16:10

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