For more information, contact:

Joe Monkowski
Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.
Aimee Fitzgerald, APR
Brozena Schaller Menaker & Ripley, Inc.

Advanced Energy Supplies Power for Gemini Telescope

MARCH 26, 1999 — Sitting at the 13,824-foot summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the most advanced mirror coating chamber ever built. Thanks to technology from Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (AE), the telescope coated in that chamber will produce the clearest and sharpest infrared images of the universe ever obtained.


Three master-slaved 20 kW Pinnacle™ dc magnetron power supplies from AE are powering the massive sputtering process for the international Gemini Observatory Project telescope. The stable, high-accuracy output power of the Pinnacle power supply is enabling Gemini technicians to deposit a layer of aluminum about one one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair across the surface of the telescope’s 8.1-meter primary mirror.

The Gemini 8-meter Observatory Project is a multi-national collaboration that will construct and operate two nearly identical 8-meter telescopes for an international community of astronomers. The project is well-suited to the Pinnacle product, says Doug Schatz, president of AE, because of its abilities to provide stability, accuracy, and high power, with rapid termination of arc events. For Gemini, he explains, the entire coating for the mirror could be completely ruined, as well as the mirror itself, if the Pinnacle units did not have the capability to detect the onset of an arc and to turn off the power supply before any damage was done. These units actually deliver less than one tenth of the energy of any competing power supply. “Kind of like stopping a freight train with a feather,” Schatz noted.

AE also is providing the power supplies for the Gemini South project in Chile. In addition to the aluminum coating, Gemini Project technicians will use the power supplies to coat both Gemini North and South mirrors with silver, further improving the clarity and sharpness of the infrared images. Given the expense of silver, the ability to sputter efficiently and effectively will be critical to Gemini, says Schatz.

"We are very satisfied with the results that we have obtained,” says John Filhaber, systems engineering manager for the Gemini North project. He explains that light will travel for billions of years without touching anything but the galaxy, the gas cloud that produced it, and the thin-film surface. “The rest of the trip through the telescope will take less than one ten-millionth of a second. This mirror would be worthless without the perfect glass surface that supports it.”

Advanced Energy Industries, Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of power supplies and related products that are critical in the manufacturing of semiconductors, data storage devices, flat panel computer displays, and other products using thin-film technology. Founded in 1981, AE is a publicly held company. The symbol on Nasdaq is AEIS, and the Web site address is