The Paca2M project (cathode sputtering for 2 meter optics) has involved assembling in a white room a machine of more than 18 meters in length to vacuum generate a plasma for depositing films (dielectric and metallic) with a precision ranging from a few tens of microns to atomic scale by means of an in situ optical control system.
It took two years for the plant to install the PACA2M machine. It was inaugurated in January 2010 at the Aubagne plant, near Marseille.
Today, PACA2M can automatically process optical components in industrial series or in large dimensions up to 2 meters diameter and 40 centimeters thickness.
There has been no shortage of clients and in one year of operation PACA2M has already been associated with numerous projects, including the Odeillo solar furnace for the DGA, the Mégajoule Laser for the CEA, mirrors for satellites for CNES, EADS ASTRIUM, solar simulator reflectors for the European Space Agency, optical components for the Marseille Astrophysics Laboratory (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille), etc.
A key feature of CILAS’ technical and industrial business strategy, PACA2M has proved a magnet for major photonics stakeholders and projects from all over Europe. Finally, this new investment in the photonics sector represents a guarantee in terms of jobs. CILAS has extended its facility in the PACA region.
PACA2M, the first joint platform set up by a company, has been developed in partnership with the Institut Fresnel, Thales Alenia Space and Alliance Concept, with a budget of 6 m euros, partly funded by the joint ministerial fund (FUI4) and regional authority funding.