Camozzi Group subsidiary Ingersoll Machine Tools will produce the structure of the Giant Magellan Telescope

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  • Ingersoll will produce the huge 1,300 ton precision steel optical support structure which will allow frictionless movement made possible thanks to the Camozzi Group’s highly advanced, globally recognized hydrostatic technology
  • In total this is a 135 million dollar investment, the biggest realized to date by GMTO. The contract was won following a 2-year global tendering process. Over the next 9 years GMTO, MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools will work together to deliver the 1,300 ton steel structure, which is due to be delivered to Chile by the end of 2025, ready for mirrors to be installed in 2028.
  • 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 and 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 Universe

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 with having been selected in a tender involving the world’s leading groups”..    

30 October 2019 – Brescia – 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.

“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.

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. 

Information about the GMT Organization (GMTO)

GMTO manages the GMT project on behalf of its international founders:

Arizona State University, Astronomy Australia Ltd.The Australian National UniversityCarnegie Institution for ScienceFundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São PauloHarvard UniversityKorea Astronomy and Space Science InstituteSmithsonian InstitutionTexas A&M UniversityThe University of ArizonaThe University of Chicago, e The University of Texas at Austin.

Information 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.

Information 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, aluminium, other metals. Ingersoll pioneered the automatic fibre 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.

Information about MT Mechatronics

MT Mechatronics, located in Mainz, Germany, 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, mechatronic equipment for research institutions, launching facilities for the European space program and large medical systems for the next generation of particle cancer therapies. MT Mechatronics is a 100% subsidiary of the German OHB group. OHB SE is a leading European space and technology group with more than 35 years of experience in developing and executing innovative space technology systems and projects.


Lodovico Camozzi, Chairman Camozzi Group.

Ingersoll Mastermill Gantry

The latest design of the enclosure, telescope and site at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile.

Left to right: Ingersoll Machine Tools CEO, Chip Storie, MT Mechatronics Senior Vice President, Thomas Zimmerer, GMTO president, Dr. Robert N. Shelton with a bronze model of the telescope structure. 


The Camozzi Group

Established in 1964, the Italian Camozzi Group is a global leader in the production of components and systems for high-tech industrial automation in the manufacturing, life science, robotics and mechatronics sectors. The Camozzi Group also produces specialist machine tools for the aeronautics, space and energy industries as well as operating across a variety of sectors from textile machinery to raw materials processing markets including composites, titanium and aluminum.

Continuous research and technological development are the basis of the Group’s corporate strategy which promotes constant innovation and creates added value for our customers. In addition, combined with the use of IIOT digital solutions and our commitment to social responsibility, they form the principles that inspire the entire Group.

The Camozzi Group is represented in 75 countries worldwide, has 38 branches, 3023 employees, 5 operating divisions and 26 production sites.