Ingersoll Machine Tools will produce the structure of the giant Magellan Telescope

Ingersoll Machine Tools will produce the structure of the giant Magellan Telescope. The Camozzi Group subsidiary Ingersoll Machine Tools, has been awarded a contract for the construction of the first new generation Giant Magellan Telescope by GMTO Corporation which 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 of the optical structure, thanks to a hydrostatic technology  of the Camozzi Group recognized at global level.
  • An investment of 135 million dollar, the biggest realized to date by GMTO. Won a successful 2-year global tendering process. A 9 years work, developed together with MT Mechatronics.
  • 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. Funding for the project comes from the partner institutions, governments and private donors.
  • 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 as well as the study of black holes and dark energy. The GMT will have a resolving power ten times greater than today’s leading global telescopes and could make discoveries that will change the view of our place in the Univer.

The Italian Group Camozzi, through its fully owned subsidiary Ingersoll Machine Tools headquartered in Rockford (Illinois), has entered into an agreement in conjunction with MT Mechatronics, located in Mainz (Germany) – with GMTO, the organization managing   the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) on behalf of its US and international founders, to build the telescope’s steel precision structure.

The GMT is a 24.5 meter (80-ft) diameter next-generation giant optical-infrared observatory that will  explore the frontiers of astronomy, seeking forms of life beyond our solar system and capable of changing the history of space exploration.

Ingersoll Machine Tools together with MT Mechatronics will design and manufacture the 1,300- ton precision mechanism, known as the “telescope structure” that holds the GMT’s optics which will smoothly track celestial targets as they move across the sky. The telescope will be designed by MT Mechatronics and manufactured, assembled, and tested by Ingersoll before being shipped to, and installed at, the GMT observatory site high in the remote Chilean Andes.

The telescope structure contract will require nine years of effort by a large workforce of engineers, designers, metal workers, and machinists and have total value of $ 135 million.

«Manufacturing the telescope structure is one of the biggest steps we will take on our journey to building the Giant Magellan Telescope», said Dr. Robert N. Shelton, GMTO President.

On the right, 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 Dr. 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 is 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.

Lodovico Camozzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Camozzi Group, stated: «We are delighted that we will be working on the creation of an exclusive 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 at having been selected in a tender involving the world’s leading groups».

Lodovico Camozzi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Camozzi Group.

The contract between GMTO, Ingersoll Machine Tools and MT Mechatronics will involve nine years of work and 1,300 tons of structural steel and the structure is expected to be delivered to Chile at the end of 2025 and be ready to accept mirrors in 2028.

The Giant Magellan Telescope

The Giant Magellan Telescope is a next-generation ground-based telescope that promises to revolutionize our understanding and view of the universe. The GMT is poised to enable breakthrough discoveries in cosmology, the study of black holes, dark matter, dark energy, and the search for life beyond our solar system. The telescope’s primary mirror combines seven 8.4-meter (27 feet) diameter circular segments to form an effective aperture 24.5 meters in diameter. The GMT will be located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert and the project is the work of a distinguished international consortium of leading universities and science institutions. Funding for the project comes from the partner institutions, governments, and private donors.


About the Camozzi Group

The Camozzi Group is an Italian global leader in the production of components and systems for industrial automation, which operates in a variety of sectors ranging from machine tools to textile machinery as well as  providing solutions involving the processing of raw materials. The Group provides innovative ideas and solutions for its customers, in a process of movement towards smart manufacturing. It operates in 75 countries worldwide with 30 subsidiaries, 2600 employees, 5 operating divisions, and 18 production sites. In 2018 it posted turnover of 419 million euros, 85% of which was outside of Italy.

About Ingersoll Machine Tools

Ingersoll Machine Tools (IMT) is a global leader in the development of advanced machine tools for the world’s aerospace, transportation, energy, and heavy industries. It is located in Rockford, Illinois, US and has around 200 employees. As a leader in the aerospace industry, Ingersoll excels in building machines to produce component parts and large structures made of titanium, aluminum, other metals. Ingersoll pioneered the automatic fiber placement and the automatic tape laying technologies for composite manufacturing and became one of the leaders for this market. The expertise, methodologies, and techniques acquired in developing composite manufacturing allowed Ingersoll to enter the additive manufacturing sector.