Aluminizing chamber

Organizational Unit

The objective of the aluminizing plant is to deposit a thin layer of reflective aluminum on an astronomical mirror. To do this, once the deteriorated layer has been removed, the mirror without its reflective layer is introduced into the aluminizing chamber where an aluminum evaporation process is carried out under high vacuum conditions. The IAC aluminizing plant has the capacity to coat mirrors up to 2.5 m in diameter. The vacuum level required before evaporation is 1x10-5 mbar and for this purpose there are two mechanical and a diffuser pumps, in addition to sensors, valves and other necessary devices. The plant has a control system based on PLC. Usually, mirrors are aluminized once a year or year and a half and the aluminizing process, including the initial cleaning of the mirror, takes 2 to 3 days, without considering the time of transport to the observatory.

Related Technical facility
General view of the Instrument Maintenance Workshop with several work benches, cabinets and several machines under repair
Instrument Maintenance Workshop

The Instrument Maintenance Workshop performs the maintenance tasks of the telescopes and the astronomical instrumentation of the IAC.

View of the evaporator and its associated electronics in the laboratory. Machine with a reinforced door and a porthole, and two large racks with electronic components, buttons and indicators for the control of the machine
Evaporator with built-in electron gun

Evaporator machine for the manufacture of optical coatings

View of the CT7 reflectometer on a mirror. Author A1pixel. Small device with a screen held by a technician's hand on the surface of a mirror

Device dedicated to the measurement of the quality of mirrored surfaces.

Panoramic view of one the areas of the Assembly, Integration and Verification room. Large laboratory with work benches and multiple electronic devices and computers, with a large mechanical structure in assembly phase
Large Instruments Assembly, Integration and Verification Room

The purpose of the AIV Room is the assembly, integration and verification of instrumentation for large telescopes.

Equiment type