64-metre radio telescope developed and manufactured by MT Mechatronics inaugurated in Sardinia

Italy’s largest radio telescope was officially inaugurated.

Bremen/ San Basilio, Cagliari, 1 October 2013. Yesterday, Italy’s largest radio tele-scope was officially inaugurated. Some 1,200 international guests from political circles and the scientific and business community attended the roughly six-hour ceremony during which the telescope demonstrated its mobility to the tune of traditional Sardinian music. The large-scale telescope was built with a total order volume of 30 million euros by Mainz-based MT Mechatronics GmbH, an enterprise of the European space and technology group OHB AG (ISIN: DE0005936124, Prime Standard).

Thanks to this construction of the century, Sardinia will gain global significance in the field of astronomic research. The state-of-the-art and fully movable large-scale tele-scope for radio astronomy weighing 3,000 tons was inaugurated in the presence of the State Secretary of the Ministry for Education, Universities, and Research, Prof. Marco Rossi-Doria, the President of the Institute for Astrophysics INAF, Prof. Giovanni Bignami and numerous other high-ranking guests. Company founder Prof. Dott. Ing. h.c. Manfred Fuchs was on site to represent the OHB Group. “We’re proud of the MT Team and of being able to make a further key contribution towards research of the universe,” said Fuchs, who was born in Italy.

The radio telescope in Sardinia is the largest telescope erected in Europe in the past 40 years. With a reflector diameter of 64 metres, it is one of the three largest radio telescopes existing in Europe. It is designed for an observation frequency of up to 100 GHZ and features leading-edge equipment and technology. For instance, the main reflector consisting of over 1,000 single, ultra-precision aluminium panels can electri-cally adjust the gravity distortions arising when the equipment is turned. The telescope was manufactured according to the detailed drawings provided by MT Mechatronics in individual parts in a number of countries. In Sardinia, the telescope was completely assembled in a period of several years. In addition to the challenges involved in telescope design, the 500-ton reflector pre-assembled on the ground was lifted onto the reflector mountings by crane in a single movement.

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