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Proceedings Paper

Coating the 8-m Gemini telescopes with protected silver
Author(s): Maxime Boccas; Tomislav Vucina; Claudio Araya; Esteban Vera; Clayton Ahhee
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Paper Abstract

The Gemini telescopes were designed to be infrared-optimized. Among the features specified for optimal performance is the use of silver-based coatings on the mirrors. The feasibility study contracted by Gemini in 1994-1995 provided both techniques and recipes to apply these high-reflectivity and low-emissivity films. All this effort is now being implemented in our coating plants. At the time of the study, sputtering experiments showed that a reflectivity of 99.1% at 10μm was achievable. We have now produced bare and protected silver sputtered films in our coating plants and conducted environmental testing, both accelerated and in real-life conditions, to assess the durability. We have also already applied, for the first time ever, protected-silver coatings on the main optical elements (M1, M2 and M3) of an 8-m telescope. We report here the progress to date, the performance of the films, and our long-term plans for mirror coatings and maintenance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2004
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5494, Optical Fabrication, Metrology, and Material Advancements for Telescopes, (24 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.548809
Show Author Affiliations
Maxime Boccas, Gemini Observatory (Chile)
Tomislav Vucina, Gemini Observatory (Chile)
Claudio Araya, Gemini Observatory (Chile)
Esteban Vera, Gemini Observatory (Chile)
Clayton Ahhee, Gemini Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5494:
Optical Fabrication, Metrology, and Material Advancements for Telescopes
Eli Atad-Ettedgui; Philippe Dierickx, Editor(s)

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