The Optical Laboratory performs optical measurements and aligns and integrates instruments as well as testing prototypes and other tasks that require temperature, humidity and cleanliness controlled conditions.
The laboratory is part of Optical Department of the Technology Division.
The Optical Laboratory is a 100,000 class cleanroom with temperature and humidity control. These conditions are needed to perform laboratory tasks and to keep the equipment and components in perfect condition. The laboratory is equipped with a wide range of specialised equipment and general purpose components, like lenses, optical systems, lasers, optical and infrared sensors, filters and light sources.
The Laboratory is divided into 5 rooms:
Entrance to the Laboratory. Contains clothing that must be worn by all personnel entering the laboratory.
General Purpose (A). This room contains four optical benches mounted on a single10- metre bedplate, which is insulated from vibrations, together with most of the IAC's optomechanical and optoelectrical components.
General Purpose (B). Has two optical benches.
Cryogenics and Fibre Optics. Has two optical benches, one of which is reserved for assembling and characterising cryogenic systems and instruments (which operate at temperatures lower than 200 C below zero). The second is used for characterising optical fibre bundles. The room also houses the spectrophotometer.
Spatial Projects. This is a class 1000 room and contains a class 100 bench. It has the highest cleanliness index of any location in the laboratory and is used for mounting space instruments, cryogenic systems and detectors.