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Telescope Mount Stage 1 contracts awarded

Detail of the telescope mount

Detail of the telescope mount.

GMTO is pleased to announce that two contracts have been awarded this week to advance the design of the Giant Magellan Telescope mount, leading to a final selection next year of the contractor to fabricate and deliver the structure.

After a process that lasted just over a year, the two companies selected are IDOM, headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, with offices in Minneapolis, and MT Mechatronics from Mainz, Germany. These two companies have extensive experience with observatory and other large-scale engineering projects.

“The telescope structure is our largest and most complex procurement, and this is the first stage of that procurement,” said Dr. James Fanson, GMTO Project Manager. “We are pleased now to have such experienced and capable firms working with us to mature the telescope design.”

The two teams will work with GMTO’s design teams to address engineering challenges and to produce firm fixed price proposals for the final design and build. When the studies are completed next year, a competitive down-select will occur for the final design, fabrication and site installation in Chile.

About the companies

IDOM is a global engineering company that develops instruments and facilities for astronomers, nuclear and particle physicists, researchers in atomic energy, medicine, and other fields. IDOM has a team of 3,000 professionals working in more than 40 offices. With projects in 125 countries on five continents, IDOM has participated in the development of components for the Gran Telescopio Canarias, the enclosure and thermal systems for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, and other astronomical facilities. IDOM has conducted design studies for the European Extremely Large Telescope, Thirty Meter Telescope and the Mauna Kea Spectroscopic Explorer.

MT Mechatronics provides global services as prime contractor for design, development, system integration, commissioning, training, maintenance and operations for communication and deep space antennas, radio and optical telescopes. MT Mechatronics played a large role in the development of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array for radio astronomy, the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope and the Sophia airborne infrared telescope. With over fifty years’ experience in the telescope and antenna business, MT Mechatronics has assembled a highly qualified team of engineers and experts with all relevant capabilities and experience.