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ALMA Band 9: Production of 208 mirrors started

Submitter: Johan Pragt
Description: Last year, the ALMA band 9 team started a European tender procedure for the production of three types of mirrors, for a total of 208. After an extensive procedure, the collaberation of ATH and ASTRON was rewarded with the assignment to produce these mirrors.

Last week, the production started. It is set up in such way that the pre-milling of the 3 types of mirrors will be done without supervision during night-time or over the weekend.

In order to meet the rather extreme specifications for the mirror-surfaces, we will use a special high-speed tool with 90.000 rpm, which is equal to a dentist drill in XXL size. Within a year, several batches of mirrors will be produced. Depending on whether Japan will join the ALMA band 9 team, the final number will be up to 208-300 mirrors, at a total cost of 240-320 keuro.

ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) is a new aperture synthesis telescope that will operate at (sub-)mm wavelengths. The ALMA band 9 covers the area around 600 GHz (0.5 mm). See http://www.sron.rug.nl/alma/.

P.S. For acute toothache problems, you still better go to the dentist. We only treat toothache of giants (for free!!).
Copyright: ASTRON
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