MT Mechatronics awarded engineering contract for the Giant Magellan Telescope

Mainz, Germany/Pasadena, United States/ December 8th, 2017. It aims to revolutionize our understanding of how the universe arose and unlock its secrets: the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT). MT Mechatronics GmbH, a subsidiary of Bremen-based space technology company OHB SE, has been awarded an engineering reviewing and engineering validation contract by the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) for the construction of the mount for the 24.5-meter telescope in a project worth a total of around 1 billion US dollars.

As a specialist in antenna and telescope technology, MT Mechatronics was successful in the international request for proposals. “We are very pleased and proud that we have been able to convince our client of the quality of our work and now have a 50:50 chance of building one of the world’s largest and most powerful astronomic instruments of the next decade,” says Lutz Stenvers, managing director of MT Mechatronics. At the end of this contract, MT Mechatronics submits an offer for the construction of the telescope mount, which will be located on top of the Las Campanas Mountain in Chile, and which shall go into operation in 2023.

The view through this revolutionary astronomical tool, which has a resolution ten times that of the Hubble Space Telescope, will extend back in time to the period in which the universe was transparent for light after the reonization period (around 400,000 years after the “big bang”). The purpose of the GMT is to enhance our understanding of the genesis and development of galaxies and constellations, the evolution of chemical elements, the growth of black holes and dark matter and energy.

Artist’s impression of the Giant Magellan Telescope on Cerro Las Campanas in Chile © GMTO/ Mason Media Inc.
Artist’s impression of the Giant Magellan Telescope on Cerro Las Campanas in Chile © GMTO/ Mason Media Inc.

About MT Mechatronics
MT Mechatronics in Mainz emerged from the Antenna division of MAN Gustavsburg. Today we belong to MT Aerospace AG and OHB SE and, with more than 55 years of experience in the field, specialize in turnkey communication antennae, optical and radio telescopes, industrial plants, mechatronic equipment for research facilities, launch systems for European space programs and medical apparatus for cancer therapy. Our range of products and services encompasses the entire supply chain from design to development, manufacturing, system integration and commissioning, training, servicing and plant operation.

About the GMTO
The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization is an international consortium of leading universities and academic institutions. The Giant Magellan Telescope will be one member of the next class of giant ground-based telescopes that promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe. It will be constructed in the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Commissioning of the telescope is scheduled to begin in 2023.

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