The new telescope will have a resolving power ten times greater than today’s leading global telescopes
Ingersoll will produce the huge 1,300-ton precision steel optical support structure which will allow frictionless movement made possible thanks to the Camozzi Group’s highly advanced, globally recognized hydrostatic technology
In total this is a 135 million dollar investment, the biggest realized to date by GMTO. The contract was won following a 2-year global tendering process. Over the next 9 years GMTO, MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools will work together to deliver the steel structure, which is due to be delivered to Chile by the end of 2025, ready for mirrors to be installed in 2028.
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is the result of the collaboration of 12 of the world’s leading universities and scientific institutes and it is planned to become operational in 2029 following its construction in the Chilean desert.
The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will significantly advance our knowledge and understanding of the universe through the study of planets beyond the solar system in the search for signs of life and the study of black holes and dark energy.
Lodovico Camozzi, Chairman and CEO of the Camozzi Group, stated: “We are delighted that we will be working on the creation of an exclusively scientific and revolutionary system for studying the deep cosmos. The project fills us all in Camozzi with pride and is an inspiration to us. We are also very pleased with having been selected in a tender involving the world’s leading groups”.
“Manufacturing the telescope structure is one of the biggest steps we will take on our journey to building the Giant Magellan Telescope “, said Robert N. Shelton, GMTO President.
“We selected Ingersoll Machine Tools and MT Mechatronics for their commitment to quality, extensive experience with astronomical telescopes and abilities to manufacture complex precision structures, following a two-year global competition”, added James Fanson, GMTO Project Manager.
The structure of the telescope will hold the seven giant mirrors of the GMT in position as they bring the light of distant stars and galaxies into focus so that they can be analyzed by the scientific instrumentation built into the telescope. The mirrors, the largest in the world, have been produced by the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab of the University of Arizona.
The structure of the telescope, complete with mirrors and all instrumentation, will weigh 2,100 tons and will float on a 50 microns thick (2 thousandths of an inch) oil film which will ensure frictionless movement to offset the earth’s rotation and follow the celestial bodies in their paths across the sky. This “hydrostatic” technology was patented several years ago by INNSE, a Camozzi Group company, renowned throughout the world for this technology. With its unique design, the GMT will have a resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope in the infra-red section of the spectrum.
“It will be a special day when the GMT telescope structure will be completed and placed in service in Chile, as part of one of the most complicated and fascinating projects that the world scientific community has ever undertaken”, said Chip Storie, CEO of Ingersoll Machine Tools.
GMT Organization (GMTO)
GMTO manages the GMT project on behalf of its international founders:
Arizona State University, Astronomy Australia Ltd., The Australian National University, Carnegie Institution for Science, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Harvard University, Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Smithsonian Institution, Texas A&M University, The University of Arizona, The University of Chicago and The University of Texas at Austin.