Lunt Solar Systems is a manufacturing and sales facility located in Tucson, Arizona that designs, fabricates, assembles, and tests solar telescopes and solar filters. We occupy about 7,000 square feet of space in a nice industrial park located right off the main freeway at I-10 and Grant Road.
Tucson is about 50 miles from the US/Mexico border, and about 300 miles from one of my favorite dive spots, San Carlos. Tucson has about 300 clear days per year. Being in the Solar Telescope market we feel that it is important that we have access to these clear skies as often as possible.
I personally test every Telescope and Filter that ships from Lunt Solar. I do this in order to maintain the best quality control possible. It is my “humble” opinion that no one else is better qualified. It also removes any doubt as to what any issue might be and whether or not they should be addressed. Whether it be alignment, off-band, astigmatism, pinching, pin holes, banding, etc.— none of these issues are overlooked. I feel that if the customer receives the product in the same condition that it left the factory, they will be very pleased. As we all know, a few times there are issues due to running of the shipping gauntlet. It’s too bad that the shipping companies don’t always take the same pride in the handling of a customer’s product that we feel they should.
The public often asks if it is safe to look through a Lunt Solar product. I’ve been testing these products for almost 20 years, and I still use the same eye! All joking aside. safety has to be the number one priority in this hobby. Lunt takes safety very seriously, and the testing of any filter or scope should be done by a person who can take full responsibility for the safety and performance of a solar product, and who understands the design and function of all safety elements. The person testing products should have the experience necessary to determine whether a unit actually passes or fails the quality control criteria.
No other astronomical product requires a higher level of quality control than a Solar Instrument.
Lunt purchases our raw glass materials from a company on the US east coast. We grind, edge, bevel, and polish all the glass needed for the etalon and filter systems in-house. Most coatings are outsourced to a coating facility that maintains a coating chamber specific to our requirements. Our coating facility has the required ability to produce AR coatings at less than 0.1% R, and typically in the 0.06% R range. They also hold the high reflectivity coatings to better than ±1%. The ability to control the coating processes to such high accuracy has allowed me to make precision modifications to the coating formulas, which have proven to improve contrast by reducing background noise.
Lunt purchases mechanical parts from numerous locations. We have a local, family-owned, CNC machine shop in our industrial complex that fabricates many of the unique parts specific to adapting existing scopes for Solar use. Adapter plates, prototype parts, and some mechanical parts are also made in-house.
We do our very best to provide a quality product at an affordable price. We are also very proud to put “Made in the USA” on all our Telescopes and Filter products. Whether you are looking for a dedicated Solar Telescope or a Solar Filter for your own astronomy telescope, we can help. — Andy Lunt
20 years of optical design, testing, and manufacturing of ultra precision flats, mirrors, filters, and etalon assemblies. 12 years direct experience with solar related systems.
Anyone who has met Alan at NEAF will instantly appreciate why I chose to partner with him. Alan’s never ending energy and enthusiasm, the fact that he knows and is very well thought of by the vendors, manufacturers, and astronomy enthusiasts the world over. The fact that he has the resources to ensure that the company had a rock solid financial base didn’t hurt either.
Over the years I have enjoyed hanging out and discussing optics with Markus at various astronomy events. His knowledge of optical systems is a critical key in providing the highest quality Lunt Solar Systems. I partnered with Markus due to his knowledge of lens and telescope design, production, and testing. He has the hands on experience and a worldwide network or vendors and dealers required to be successful in this business.
Brian has been with the company since its inception. With over ten years of experience in the optics field, his skills and talents include product development, assembling etalons and troubleshooting optical systems. His position concentrates on providing the highest quality solar telescope products available on the market today. Brian has lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1973.
Duties include, scheduling, grinding, polishing, maintenance, and inspection. Optics come in a raw blank form. Brandon shapes the blank glass to flatness specs. Assembly, cleaning, and inspecting is also part of Brandon’s duties. He uses light box interference to test flatness/fringing and has mad skills on the interferometer.
Faye Heyde has been with Lunt since 2012. Her commitment and winning attitude, plus her dedication to taking care of our customers from beginning to end, is outstanding. She is always happy to help out. She places customers first by ensuring that they receive a great product and a great experience. Her valuable contributions help our team be the best it can be.
David Fonseca has been with Lunt since 2008. He bevels and grinds each piece of glass, carefully preparing it for the optics shop. David is an integral part of the Lunt team. He is passionate, energetic and goal-oriented. He carries a high level of quality and commitment in all that he does.