DKIST Solar Telescope Aperture
Haleakala, Maui


In honor of total solar eclipse over Argentina and Chile on July 2, 2019, we thought we’d share our DKIST National Solar Observatory aperture project. Located on Haleakala which means House of the Sun in Hawaiian.


Although not very old, DKIST solar telescope aperture, part of the space telescope, was suffering from premature decay in the form of severe erosion to its exposed surface metals.


Tethering the Sun


Even the hero-god Maui, who lassoed the sun’s rays, would approve of what we accomplished in a matter of a couple of weeks.





Maui tethers the sun photo credit:



That’s when observatory scientists reach out to us for help. They wanted to know if there was a coating tough enough to withstand the sun’s harsh rays.  Because of its mixed metal fabrication containing brass, copper, and aluminum the thin aerospace paint which was applied before installation wasn’t holding up.


Needless to say, when it comes to saving the world rest assured these scientists did their homework when they chose Tiger Drylac Super Durable 061/80079 (Black Anodized Effect) It worked well and met their optical and absorption requirements(it gets hot around a giant piece of glass pointing at the sun)


The pieces were dissembled into three 15ft arched segments which were loaded into our blast facility. After abrasive blasting, each one had to be carefully handled and moved for each phase of the 5-stage restoration process. To meet the minimum finish requirements the DKIST Team needed we used Tiger’s Dryprotector Primer. Its superior adherence and moisture protection. It was key to the whole application process.

Muscle the hustle

Here at the Maui Powder Works shop, we’ve been debating if our new slogan should be

Powder Coating: Saving one planet at a time!

No joke when I asked about looking for asteroids to hit the earth anytime soon the lead scientist said, “…its the CMEs from the sun we have to worry about.” Yikes! TMI

This was an all hands on deck effort for all involved.  A shout of appreciation goes to our rep Sandra Kresz at Tiger Drylac for all the hustle she put in to get us samples to us quickly for testing and answered any technical questions immediately.

Please, no negative comments on telescopes in Hawaii.

The project highlights

The problem

The solution

Applying Dryprotector

Applying the color coat

Finished product

During installation

Completed project

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