Clean rooms

Among the IAA facilities there is a clean room, which is used for the assembly and tests of instrumentation requiring special environmental conditions. White rooms, also known as clean rooms, are environmentally controlled spaces. The main parameter to be controlled is the density of particles in the air, although other parameters such as temperature, humidity and pressure are also kept between known levels. Both the construction and the normative in the use of white rooms are oriented to minimize the number of particles generated or introduced into the clean space. The clean room operative in the IAA consists of three different spaces (see figures 1 to 3): an electronic laboratory, a dark laboratory for optics and a changing room. Their theoretical classification is ISO 8 (following ISO EN 14644-1 standard), which is equivalent to class 100.000 in the 209D federal standard. However, the validation tests gave a better than theoretical qualification for both laboratories (ISO 5) and changing room (ISO 7).

The electronic laboratory allows for six independent working places, although no more than four people should be working inside simultaneously due to particle control reasons. It is equipped with specific instrumentation, such as programmable power supplies, a digital multimeter or an arbitrary signal generator. The optics laboratory is more reduced in space, and has capacity for two people. It is equipped with an optic table and a basic set of positioners, light sources and specific and generic instrumentation (lenses, laser generators, detectors, filters,…).

Both laboratories have several Ethernet, telephone and electric points. In order to avoid the flux of particles from the outside when doors are opened, ambient pressure values are larger in the laboratories than in the changing room, which is itself at a higher pressure than the external corridor (see figure 4). 

The main contamination sources in clean rooms are users themselves. Thus, this type of facilities must be accessed following a normative. These rules describe, among other things, the clothing elements needed inside the laboratories and the procedure that must be followed for their use. Eventual users of the white room have disposable workwear, while habitual users have a personalized one consisting of a gown, a cap and a pair of gloves and clogs. Both types of workwear are kept in the wardrobes located inside the changing room (see figures 5 and 6).

The use of the clean room is reserved to processes which require a controlled environment. Reservation applications should be addressed to the head of the white room (Miguel Abril) or, in his absence, the head of optics laboratory (Conchi Cárdenas) or the head of UDIT.