*Jeroen Schotsaert1, Sébastien Adans1, Virginie Mercier1, Philippe Bellet1, Hugues Wiame1, Hansjörg Weis2, Yvan Novis3, Pierre Sansgasset4, Volker Heinz4
1AGC Plasma Technology Solutions, Charleroi, Belgium; 2AGC Interpane Demonstration and Research Center, Lauenfoerde, Germany; 3YN Consulting, Bierges, Belgium; 4European Southern Observatory (ESO), Garching bei München, Germany
People have been looking at the stars since the stone ages and today we are still puzzled with questions about the origin of the universe and the potentiality of other live forms. Very recently, astronomers found water in the atmosphere of the exoplanet K2-18b which is at 110 light years away from earth. The planet is in the “Goldilocks” zone meaning that the distance from its star should allow temperatures neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to occur on the surface, an essential condition for life as we know it. The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is a next generation telescopes currently under construction in Chile by the European Southern Observatory and is scheduled for first light by 2025. With a primary mirror of a diameter of 39 meter composed out of 798 mirror segments, the ELT will provide images 16 times sharper than those from the largest optical telescopes existing today. The magnetron sputter line applying the reflective layer of the mirror segments is inspired on the coating equipment used within the glass industry. The equipment is earthquake resistant and allows to apply coatings with excellent reflection in the visible and infra-red spectrum.