Astronomical Coatings Lab
In order to coat large optics, the Coatings Group has built a tank that is capable of coating optics up to 46" in diameter. This tank was used to coat the Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC) optics, and is located in the UCO/Lick Optics Lab. It is used to coat (and re-coat) optics of various sizes for both Lick and Keck observatories. Click here to read more. Here are some photos of the tank and the team that worked on it. It is currently in the research and development phase. Recently, we have been experimenting with magnesium fluoride coatings. We are also developing spin-coating techniques.
In order to better pursue our Coatings research and development, we have set up a cleanroom in the Optics Lab to guarantee maximum quality of coatings.
The 120" mirror of the Shane telescope (Mount Hamilton) is coated on site in a chamber that was once a cyclotron at Berkeley. Tech facilities and Mt. Hamilton staff combined forces recently to re-aluminize the primary mirror.
In March and April of 2007, the Coatings Lab cleaned, stripped, and re-coated the mirrors of the great 36" telescope at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, CA. We chronicled this process, and hope to use the excellent reflective coating we developed for other such projects!