Giant Magellan Telescope Inks Key Construction Contract, Eyes 2029 '1st Light' By Mike Wall 30 October 2019 The deal to design and built the GMT's precision steel structure is worth $135 million. [31], The planned first light instruments are four instruments and one facility fiber positioning system. [16] The casting of the first mirror, in a rotating furnace, was completed on November 3, 2005, but the grinding and polishing were still going on 6½ years later when the second mirror was cast, on 14 January 2012. The Giant Magellan Telescope is part of the US Extremely Large Telescope Program, July 2019: Mirror segment 2 moved to storage, Explore how you can engage with experts at our virtual SPIE booth, view our SPIE talks and topics, and explore job opportunities, Discover more about the US ELT Program and partnership between the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope, and the NSF’s NOIRLab. [27], In late October GMTO announced the signing of a contract with German company MT Mechatronics (subsidiary of OHB SE) and Illinois-based Ingersoll Machine Tools, to design, build and install the GMT’s telescope structure. GMT’s goal is to discover and collect data from the [41], The project is US-led in partnership with Australia, Brazil, and South Korea, with Chile as the host country. [30], The GMT’s Adaptive Optics system will be built into the secondary mirrors which will be deformable. The Laser Tomography AO uses six laser guide stars and a faint, natural guide star to extend diffraction-limited corrections to regions without a bright guide star. In January 2018, WSP was awarded the contract to manage construction of the GMT. [26], The telescope structure is an alt-azimuth design and it will stand on a pier that is 22 meters in diameter. [22] The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), slated for completion in 2021, will be one of the world’s next giant earth-based telescopes, with ten times the resolving power of the Hubble Space Telescope. GMTO Corporation, the organization managing the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope on behalf of its U.S. and international founders, has signed a contract with MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools to design, build and install the telescope’s precision steel structure. While the complete telescope will use seven mirrors, it is planned to begin operation with four mirrors. Like all modern large telescopes it will make use of adaptive optics. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) will be the world's largest telescope when it is completed in 2025. [15], The mirrors are being constructed by the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab. GMTO's website places cookies on your device. The Giant Magellan Telescope will be three times the size of any ground-based optical telescope … Major site preparation began with the first blast to level the mountain peak on 23 March 2012. [20] For an individual segment – being one third that diameter – this results in a focal ratio of f/2.14. The international consortium of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) project has passed two major reviews and is positioned to enter the construction phase. These actuators will be able to push and pull on the mirrors over 1000 times a second to correct for wavefront distortions introduced by turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere. Use of images must be accompanied by photographer/artist credit and copyright notice. The GMTO Corporation, the organization managing the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) on behalf of its US and international founders including Texas A&M University, has received a $17.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to accelerate prototyping and testing of some … Polishing of the first mirror was completed in November 2012. This paper describes the design of the optics, structure and mechanisms, together with the rationales that lead to the current design. The structure is expected to be delivered to Chile at the end of 2025. The Giant Magellan Telescope is designed to have a resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope — one of the most productive scientific achievements in the history of astronomy. [8], The primary mirror array as a whole will have a focal ratio (focal length divided by diameter) of f/0.71. Describes the transformative impact that the GMT will have on astrophysics—from exoplanets around neighboring stars to the formation of the first, most distant stars, galaxies, and black holes in the universe. Engineers designing the Giant Magellan Telescope have solved an immense design challenge never attempted before: Protecting a 22-story rotating observatory and seven of the world's largest monolithic mirrors from being damaged by earthquakes. GMT-Consortium Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF) - a visible, GMT Multi-object Astronomical and Cosmological Spectrograph (GMACS) - a visible multi-object spectrograph, GMT Integral-Field Spectrograph (GMTIFS) - a near-IR, GMT Near-IR spectrograph (GMTNIRS) - a near-IR spectrograph, The Many Instrument Fiber System (MANIFEST) - a facility fiber system. It is easily visible in satellite imagery at 34°09′21″N 118°08′00″W / 34.15591°N 118.13345°W / 34.15591; -118.13345 (Giant Magellan Telescope outline drawing). The challenge is that the outer six mirror segments will be off-axis, and although identical to each other, will not be individually radially symmetrical, necessitating a modification of the usual polishing and testing procedures. [31], The GMT will have several types of adaptive optics. The structure will weigh 1,800 tons without mirrors and instruments. The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a ground-based extremely large telescope under construction. This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 16:40. [32] The fiber positioning system is necessary because of the wide field of view of the GMT. About Giant Magellan Telescope Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is a non-profit organization that is joining the ranks of other aerospace industries in building the next class of giant ground-based telescopes. [13] Moreover, due to the sparsity of population centers and other favorable geographical conditions, the night sky in most of the surrounding Atacama Desert region is not only free from atmospheric pollution, but in addition it is probably one of the places least affected by light pollution, making the area one of the best spots on Earth for long-term astronomical observation. The telescope structure is an alt-azimuth design and it will stand on a pier that is 22 meters in diameter. GMT has a unique design that offers several advantages. The Adaptive Secondary Mirrors (or ASMs) consist of a thin sheet of glass that is bonded to more than 7000 independently controlled voice coil actuators. [14], The telescope will use seven of the world's largest mirrors as primary mirror segments, each 8.417 m (27.61 ft) in diameter. The preliminary design of the 25 m Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has been completed. [40] Other planned extremely large telescopes include the Extremely Large Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope. © 2020 GMTO Corporation. It is located at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile and will be operational in the next decade. [21] [4] The telescope is expected to have a resolving power 10 times greater than the Hubble Space Telescope. About. [11][12] The site has been chosen as the new instrument's location because of its outstanding astronomical seeing and clear weather throughout most of the year. [24][25], Scientists expect very high quality images due to the very large aperture and advanced adaptive optics. Science instruments will be mounted within the telescope … PASADENA, CA — Engineers designing the Giant Magellan Telescope have solved an immense design challenge never attempted before: Protecting a 22-story rotating observatory and seven of the world’s largest monolithic mirrors from being damaged by earthquakes. The Giant Magellan Telescope is one of the three ground-based mega telescopes and is set to be completed and fully functional by 2029—nine years later than planned. As this was an off-axis segment, a wide array of new optical tests and laboratory infrastructure had to be developed to polish the mirror. PASADENA, Calif.–(Business enterprise WIRE)–Dec 16, 2020– Engineers planning the Giant Magellan Telescope have solved an enormous design challenge never tried ahead of: Preserving a 22-story rotating observatory and 7 of the world’s most significant monolithic mirrors from getting destroyed by earthquakes. [19] Analyses that were conducted to verify structure and optical performance are summarized. A third segment was cast in August 2013,[8][19] and the fourth in September 2015. Analyses that were conducted to verify structure and optical performance are summarized. The GMT has a unique design that is composed of segmented mirrors. [23] [39], The Giant Magellan Telescope is one of a new class of telescopes called extremely large telescopes with each design being much larger than previous telescopes. Based on the heritage of the successful Magellan Observatories, The GMT is located at Las Campánas Peak within the Las Campánas Observatory, Chile. The performance will be similar to Natural Guide Star AO, but with reduced contrast. I am a formally trained optical engineer with experience in the design and test of complex electro-optical camera and telescope systems. Notes: future dates for first-light are provisional and are likely to change. It will be made of seven 8.4 m (27.6 ft) diameter mirror parts. The casting of each mirror uses 20 tons of E6 borosilicate glass from the Ohara Corporation of Japan and takes about 12–13 weeks. It … Uni-Systems Engineering has been involved in the design and development of mechanisms for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) since 2014, partnering closely with M3 Engineering to produce robust, reliable, redundant designs that also emphasize accessibility and maintainability. After being cast, they need to cool for about six months.[8]. The Giant Magellan Telescope has gotten $17.5 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to accelerate the prototyping and testing of some of the most powerful optical and infrared technologies ever engineered. Engineers designing the Giant Magellan Telescope have solved an immense design challenge never attempted before: Protecting a 22-story rotating observatory and seven of the world’s largest monolithic mirrors from being damaged by earthquakes. The Ground layer AO allows corrections over a large field of view (≥ 10 arcmin). Making the Giant Magellan Telescope's seven primary mirror segments is a challenging and time-consuming process. The overall focal ratio of the complete telescope will be f/8 and the optical prescription is an aplanatic Gregorian telescope. The ground … The Giant Magellan Telescope will be one of the next class of giant telescopes that promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the Universe. (Image credit: Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation) And at that size, a desert wind becomes an issue. It will consist of seven 8.4 m (27.6 ft) diameter primary segments,[1] that will observe optical and near infrared (320–25000 nm[2]) light, with the resolving power of a 24.5 m (80.4 ft) primary mirror and collecting area equivalent to a 22.0 m (72.2 ft) one,[3] which is about 368 square meters. [46] The telescope will begin observing with only four mirrors: the central and three off-axis segments. Each of the seven segments is held by three axial supports and a central lateral support with a vacuum system to mirror gravity compensations. This structure will float on a film of oil (50 microns thick), being supported by a number of hydrostatic bearings. [46] An adaptive secondary mirror is also designed for the telescope. These segments will then be arranged with one mirror in the center and the other six arranged symmetrically around it. The innovative seismic protection design earned top marks from … Mirror 7, in planning, will be cast in 2021. [45], There will be a total of eight primary mirror segments: one central mirror, six off-axis segments,[46] and a spare off-axis segment[47] which will be rotated into use as each segment is cleaned and recoated. … Owing to the clever and innovative design of the Giant Magellan Telescope, however, the objects we've missed due to diffraction spikes of bright, nearby stars will suddenly be revealed. GMTO Corporation, the organization managing the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) on behalf of its U.S. and international founders, has signed a contract with MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools to design, build and install the telescope’s precision steel structure. Mirror 6, in early construction phase. Giant Magellan Telescope signs contract for telescope structure GMTO has signed a contract with MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools to design, build and install the telescope’s precision steel structure. All users of this website are reminded that any redistribution or copying of copyrighted material requires permission of the copyright owner. When it's finished in 2022, the Giant Magellan Telescope will be the largest optical telescope on Earth. The Natural Guide Star AO is needed to produce diffraction-limited corrections over a small field of view (20-30 arcseconds). As of November 2017[update], five mirrors had been cast and the construction of the summit facility has begun.[5][6][7]. By using our website, you agree to the placement of these cookies. [17][18] Pneumatic actuators will push on the back of the primary mirrors to correct for the effects of gravity and temperature variations on the mirrors. [33], Additionally the Commissioning Camera (ComCam) will be used to validate the Ground Layer Adaptive Optics performance of the GMT facility Adaptive Optics System. For example, if the telescope were located in Phoenix and pointed at Tucson, one could see the torch on a dime from Tucson. PASADENA, Calif.-- (BUSINESS WIRE)--Engineers designing the Giant Magellan Telescope have solved an immense design challenge never attempted before: Protecting a 22-story rotating observatory and seven of the world’s largest monolithic mirrors from being damaged by earthquakes. The Giant Magellan Telescope Enclosure and Support Facilities concept design is the first study of the next generation, extremely large telescopes enclosures. The intention is to build seven identical off-axis mirrors, so that a spare is available to substitute for a segment being recoated, a 1–2 week (per segment) process required every 1–2 years. The mirrors are made of borosilicate glass and have a honeycomb structure below the mirror surface. This paper describes the design of the optics, structure and mechanisms, together with the rationales that lead to the current design. The GMT is a 24.5-meter (80-ft) diameter next-generation giant … [44], The Carnegie Observatories office in Pasadena has an outline of the GMT primary mirror array painted in its parking lot. EtherCAT and PC-based control have been specified for automation of the Giant Magellan Telescope, including more than 3,000 motion axes and site-wide fieldbus infrastructure.. 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