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Proceedings Paper

Deskilling SALT primary mirror recoating process
Author(s): Jonathan Love; Johannes C. Coetzee; Hitesh Gajjar; Martin Wilkinson
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Paper Abstract

The SALT’s 91 primary mirror (PM) segments require annual recoating with aluminum because it is exposed to harsh environmental conditions during telescope operation. Recoating is used as a broad term entailing mirror segment removal, aluminizing and segment installation. Ideally, most large telescope, such as SALT, attempt to use individuals who are professionally educated and trained to handle optics for recoating of their primary mirrors. Unfortunately, South Africa doesn’t have tertiary institutions providing courses in optics or optical engineering. This paper describes how the SALT operations team overcame that challenge and trained and certified personnel, with no tertiary education whatsoever, recruited from the rural community of Sutherland, where SALT is located, by deskilling the individual PM segments handling and recoating tasks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 July 2018
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10704, Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII, 1070425 (10 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2311603
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Love, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Johannes C. Coetzee, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Hitesh Gajjar, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)
Martin Wilkinson, South African Astronomical Observatory (South Africa)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10704:
Observatory Operations: Strategies, Processes, and Systems VII
Alison B. Peck; Robert L. Seaman; Chris R. Benn, Editor(s)

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