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24 September 2004 Advances in telescope mirror cleaning
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Metrology and cleaning techniques for telescope mirrors are generally well established. CO2 cleaning and water washing are mainly used. Water washing has proven to be the best method of removing oil and water stains and restoring the aluminium to nearly fresh values. The risk of water getting to unwanted places such as electronics or other optics prevents this method from being employed more often. Recently the Isaac Newton Group introduced a new cleaning technique for their telescope mirrors, which reduces the risks discussed above. This technique uses water vapour instead of water to wash the mirror. The advantage of this method is that the amount of water needed is drastically reduced. In addition the pressure of the vapour will blow away any large dust particles on the mirror and the temperature shock between the vapour and the mirror will help to de-bond the dust particles. Adding a soapy solution will help to clean oil and watermarks of the mirror. This paper describes the vapour cleaning method, tests that have been done and the overall findings.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Maarten F. Blanken, Alan K. Chopping, and Kevin M. Dee "Advances in telescope mirror cleaning", Proc. SPIE 5494, Optical Fabrication, Metrology, and Material Advancements for Telescopes, (24 September 2004);


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