eso9950-en-ie — Organisation Release

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Third VLT 8.2-m Mirror Successfully Coated and Installed at MELIPAL

3 December 1999

In the course of the current installation of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) , a delicate operation has just been successfully achieved at the Paranal Observatory. The coated 8.2-m Zerodur main mirror for the third VLT 8.2-m Unit Telescope, MELIPAL , is now in place!

Following removal from its transport box and insertion into the Coating Chamber, the third 8.2-m, 22-tonnes Zerodur mirror was coated with a thin layer of highly reflecting aluminium in the morning of Monday, November 29. An inspection of the fresh coating on the 50+ m 2 surface area was carried out immediately thereafter and indicated that this difficult operation was a perfect success. The measured reflectivity was 92 percent - this is an excellent value.

The enormous mirror was then lifted out of the chamber and carefully lowered onto the 150 computer-controlled supports in its mirror cell.

In the afternoon of Thursday, December 2, the cell with the mirror was transported to the MELIPAL enclosure and placed under the telescope.

The M3 tower with the elliptically shaped, flat M3 mirror was installed at the hole at the centre of the main mirror. This morning, the complete assembly was lifted and bolted to the back of the MELIPAL mechanical structure.

Comprehensive adjustment and tests will now take place. "First Light" for MELIPAL is expected in just over two months. A few months later, the VIsible MultiObject Spectrograph (VIMOS) will be installed at one of the Nasmyth foci.

As they are no longer needed at MELIPAL , the Lift Platform and Carriage are being moved over to YEPUN (UT4) to be ready for the M1 Cell installation there that starts in early January 2000.

The following digital photos were obtained during the past days and illustrate the above described operation.

This is a translation of ESO Press Release eso9950.
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About the Release

Release No.:eso9950-en-ie
Legacy ID:Photo 42a-ad/99
Name:Mirror, Very Large Telescope
Type:• Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Telescope
• X - Paranal

Images

8.2-m Zerodur Mirror
8.2-m Zerodur Mirror
M3 Tower and M3 Mirror
M3 Tower and M3 Mirror
Preparations for the Mirror Cell Attachment to MELIPAL
Preparations for the Mirror Cell Attachment to MELIPAL
Lifting of the Mirror Cell
Lifting of the Mirror Cell
Operation Succesful: Mirror Installed
Operation Succesful: Mirror Installed
8.2-m Zerodur Mirror: Protective Layer Removal
8.2-m Zerodur Mirror: Protective Layer Removal
8.2-m Zerodur Mirror
8.2-m Zerodur Mirror
M1 Mirror Cell Removal
M1 Mirror Cell Removal
M1 Mirror Cell: Preparation for Transport
M1 Mirror Cell: Preparation for Transport
M1 Mirror Cell
M1 Mirror Cell
M1 Mirror Cell
M1 Mirror Cell
M1 Mirror Cell Transport
M1 Mirror Cell Transport
M1 Mirror Cell Transport
M1 Mirror Cell Transport
Coating Chamber
Coating Chamber
Inspecting the Reflective Surface
Inspecting the Reflective Surface
Measuring the Reflectivity of the 8.2-m Zerodur Mirror
Measuring the Reflectivity of the 8.2-m Zerodur Mirror
Coated MELIPAL Mirror
Coated MELIPAL Mirror
Lifting the Mirror
Lifting the Mirror
Mirror Above the Mirror Cell
Mirror Above the Mirror Cell
8.2-m Zerodur Mirror Resting in its Cell
8.2-m Zerodur Mirror Resting in its Cell
Mirror and Mirror Cell Outside the Maintenance Building
Mirror and Mirror Cell Outside the Maintenance Building
Transport Passing Through the Base Camp
Transport Passing Through the Base Camp
Control Building and Satellite Antenna
Control Building and Satellite Antenna
Mirror Transport
Mirror Transport
Arrival at the MELIPAL Enclosure
Arrival at the MELIPAL Enclosure
M3: Preparations for Mounting
M3: Preparations for Mounting
Rear Side of the M3 Mirror
Rear Side of the M3 Mirror
Lifting of the M3 MELIPAL Mirror
Lifting of the M3 MELIPAL Mirror
Lowering of the M3 MELIPAL Mirror
Lowering of the M3 MELIPAL Mirror
M3 Mirror in its Cell
M3 Mirror in its Cell

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