27 July 2016 The Gemini Observatory protected silver coating: ten years in operation
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Abstract
Since 2004 the Gemini telescopes have used a protected 4-layer silver coating on their 8-meter diameter primary mirror and other smaller optics. Protected silver was chosen for the twin telescopes due to its high reflectivity and low emissivity properties. For over 10 years the protected 4-layer silver coating at Gemini exceeded the science requirements for reflectivity of 88% between 0.4-0.7 μm and 84% between 0.7-1.1 μm. Initial durability requirements that the coating should last at least two years have been also been surpassed. All mirrors have met the durability requirement, with most outlasting it significantly. Provided is a ten year retrospective on the progress in the use and maintenance of 4-layer silver coatings on large astronomical optics.
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T. Schneider, T. Schneider, T. Vucina, T. Vucina, C. Ah Hee, C. Ah Hee, C. Araya, C. Araya, C. Moreno, C. Moreno, "The Gemini Observatory protected silver coating: ten years in operation", Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 990632 (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233756; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233756
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