Omega Optical Makes Advanced Astronomy Filters More Affordable

J Band Curve Provided by K. Winchester

OMEGA Astronomy Filters: J Band Curve Provided by K. Winchester

July 12, 2012

Omega Optical has made an investment in the advanced dual magnetron reactive sputtering coating system. For customers with ample budgets this has become a source of greatly improved filter performance. However, for some users it means increased cost.

The advanced coating system is expensive to operate. Some customers need only small quantities of advanced filters. They find the prices prohibitive if they have to cover the full cost of a filter batch.

We have been trying to think of a way to overcome this barrier. There is little that can be done to reduce the expense of production, so we turned our attention to spreading that cost over multiple users.

The idea of cooperative buying, where multiple users share the cost of the same filter product, is not a new one. Some filter requirements are unique and this will not change, but there are certainly other types that are widely used, such as NIR photometric filters. The Mauna Kea NIR filters are a perfect example, particularly the H, J, K and lately Y bands. The production process produces several large (up to 200mm diameter) plates, so various sizes and shapes can easily be produced from one batch.

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