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Lowell Engineers prepare DCT Mirror for Aluminization

17 Dec 2010, 23:29 UTC
Lowell Engineers prepare DCT Mirror for Aluminization
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Lowell Observatory’s engineers that are building the Discovery Channel Telescope have been at the site all week as they prepare to give the 4.3-meter primary mirror its first coating of aluminum. The process proceeds slowly and cautiously over many days, with many steps.

The first step involved removing a protective coating that covered the entire surface while it was being stored. Subsequent steps, each of which was typically sandwiched between rinses with distilled water (and in no particular order) included an acetone rinse, an acetic acid rinse, a mild detergent wash, an isopropyl alcohol rinse, and a calcium carbonate wash, and a dusting with ultra high purity dry nitrogen.

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