UCO Instrument Labs

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Optics Lab

This area is where optical fabrication and testing takes place. It is currently being run by our World-Class Optician, Dave Hilyard. Dave is ably assisted by Brian Dupraw.

In February of 2006, the Optics and Instrument Shops re-aluminized the 120" mirror of the Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory. Click here for the project page.

Dave and Brian travel to Mt. Hamilton on a regular basis to assess and clean the optics, not just on the telescopes but on all of the instruments as well. Click here to read the reports.

measuring flatness

Brian Dupraw measures the flatness of a 1.1 meter diameter Zerodur mirror blank, a prototype Thirty-Meter Telescope primary segment.


Close-up of a spherometer measuring the flatness of a Zerodur blank to .001mm resolution.

cosmetic inspection

Brian performing cosmetic defect inspection of a finished Thity-Meter Telescope primary mirror segment prototype.

APF lens blanks

Some of the raw glass lens blanks, along with tooling, that will become lenses for the Automated Planet Finder (APF) Spectrograph Camera.

APF spectrograph lenses

Dave inspects three of the finished lenses that are part of the APF Spectrograph Camera. The smallest, held by fingers, is a 12mm diameter lens made of calcium flouride.

Some of the Zerodur/Fused Silica composite lenses fabricated by the Optical Lab and used for the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Medal.
gravity lens

Award to be presented to retiring UCSC Astronomy Professor John Faulkner, June 2005 (designed and created by Dave Hilyard and Dick Kanto in the Instrument Shop)

Brian grinding a 1.1 meter Zerodur mirror segment prototype for the Thirty-Meter Telescope.

grinding close-up

Close-up of a grinder working a 1.1 meter diameter mirror segment.
zygo interferometer

Dave measures the radius of curvature and surface irregularity of an APF Spectrograph Camera lens with a Zygo interferometer.

pitch lap

Close-up of a 24" diameter pitch lap used to polish and figure a large mirror.
dave and brian

Brian Dupraw and Dave Hilyard work on a Thirty-Meter Telescope prototype primary mirror segment.