Dynavac, the trusted leader in Astronomical Mirror Deposition Systems, is pleased to announce that it has successfully commissioned its flagship Eos System at the Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambra (OAJ) in Teruel, Spain.

The OAJ is a scientific facility for carrying out large sky astronomical surveys under The Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmos de Aragón (CEFCA). The facility houses two telescopes with large fields of view:  the 2.5m Javalambre Survey Telescope and the 80cm Javalambre Auxiliary Survey Telescope.  CEFCA needed a system to support long-term coating maintenance of the primary and secondary mirrors of both telescopes and turned to Dynavac for a turnkey solution that included pre-deposition stripping and cleaning.

About EOS

Dynavac’s Eos Mirror Deposition System provides a precise method for depositing high-reflectivity aluminum, protected aluminum, or silver onto large, high-value optics.  With a flexible design architecture, the system supports both sputtering and evaporation technologies and can be customized for many types of mirror geometries and deposition strategies.  Its namesake is Eos, the Greek Goddess of the Dawn. You can learn more about the Dynavac Eos System here.

The CEFCA Project

Dynavac collaborated with the CEFCA team early in their planning stages to understand process objectives. Prior to fabrication, Dynavac engineers traveled to CEFCA’s facility to finalize performance specifications and to survey the site for logistics planning. Dynavac’s engineering and process development team then went to work in developing a final design to ensure precise execution of coating thickness, uniformity, and reflectivity specifications.

The CEFCA system features a 3 m vertical vacuum chamber with an integrated mirror support structure.  A filament evaporation array houses Dynavac’s proprietary filaments which are wetted with just the right amount of aluminum to produce a precision coating.  The easily removable lower chamber houses custom-designed support fixtures to hold the various mirrors.  A supervisory control system completely automates system operation and process, as well as collects critical process data.

The system was also delivered with a complete stripping and cleaning system to ensure mirrors are adequately prepared for deposition.  Mounting fixtures on a grated platform provide easy access to the top and bottom surfaces and minimize handling. The system comes complete with an effluent recovery system and cabinet stocked with solvents and tools for a variety of cleaning processes.

The system was completely assembled and tested at Dynavac’s US facility. In addition to system validation, process uniformity was demonstrated in the system by depositing aluminum onto witness samples that matched the curvature of the mirrors.

In April 2016 the system made its long journey via ocean from Boston, Massachusetts to the Port of Valencia in Spain where it was transported to the OAJ summit by truck.  A Dynavac installation team met the system at the facility to supervise offloading, placement, and to begin the commissioning process of reassembly, startup and performance re-validation. During the installation effort, the CEFCA team worked closely with Dynavac technicians to understand system assembly and operational procedures which concluded with a formal training session.

Dynavac engineers and technicians remained on hand to support CEFCA’s team as they set up the system and proceeded with depositing aluminum onto the telescope.

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