Re-aluminization Testing and Preparations

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Now that summer shutdown tasks have been completed and the MMTO has reopened, staff have resumed working at the UA Steward Observatory Sunnyside Coating Facility in preparation for the realuminization of the primary mirror scheduled for summer 2016. Currently, the work includes evaluating new aluminization hardware and software, including redesigned welder control boxes and automated process control software. Small Chamber (0.4m) experiments have recently been completed; three Large Chamber (2m) tests are planned for September. The results of this work will be used in a full-scale aluminization test at the F.L. Whipple Observatory Base Camp prior to the actual re-aluminization.