Oggiono – Galbiati Group, a leader in sectors that call for mechanical components and machinery with high technological content (steel making, energy, astronomy), in collaboration with other companies, national and international organizations, scientific research laboratories and universities involved in the project, made it possible the manufacturing of the
Located in the Serra valley on Mount Etna, after many months of testing the ASTRI telescope is finally coming into its own. The ASTRI telescope is the latest prototype of a new kind of telescope destined to become a component of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project and to be used for deep space millesimal wavelength research.
On 18 November 2013, the GEC Consortium (composed of Galbiati Group and EIE GROUP, engineering enterprises of excellence in the astronomy sector of the Italian industrial scene), signed a contract to build the first four ASTRI telescopes in the presence of Italian national astrophysics institute (INAF) director, Professor Giovanni Pareschi. The four ASTRI telescopes will form a mini-array of Small Size Telescopes (SST) constituting the “seed” from which the entire CTA project will grow.
The Italian Galbiati Group acquired this contract because it is recognised worldwide for the quality of its machining and mechanical engineering and it specialises in the design and manufacture of large size machines and systems with a high technological content.
Galbiati Group took just nine months to complete the mechanical construction of the ASTRI (Astrophysics with Mirrors via Italian Replication Technology) SST-2M radio telescope, successfully inaugurated in September 2014 at the Catania Astronomical Observatory in Serra la Nave.
In accordance with INAF, the GEC consortium (set up by EIE Group and Galbiati Group) redesigned the base structure of ASTRI SST2M, developing the mechanical and structural project using FEM analysis in order to improve accessibility, maintenance and safety of a number of subsystems and key components such as the Azimuth Encoder and Azimuth Motors.
The ASTRI telescope, which is the first prototype of the array of 70 radio telescopes required by the CTA project, will provide high resolution 3D images. The CTA project, which is hosted by a Consortium of scientific institutions from more than 20 countries and financed by the European Commission, will be the most powerful and flexible gamma ray observatory ever built. The project calls for the construction of two observatories each composed of an array of telescopes, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere. At the centre there will be several 23-metre telescopes surrounded by dozens of medium-sized telescopes (12-metre diameter). The southern hemisphere observatory will also have a large number of small size telescopes, each of which is 4 metres in diameter.
The CTA will provide the exceptional ability to observe the most remote corners of the universe thanks to its extra-large size telescopes, capable of collecting and measuring gamma rays.
The CTA observatory will thus make it possible to detect and study more than 1000 little-known celestial objects: black holes, remnants of supernovas and galaxies, uncovering traces of the elusive dark matter that pervades 25 percent of the universe, the nature of which is currently unknown.
oOn 9 and 10 November at Serra La Nave (Catania), the Cherenkov “Astri” telescope was officially dedicated to Guido Horn D’Arturo, the first astronomer to postulate and subsequently build orientable mosaic astronomical mirrors, the solution adopted also to make the ASTRI telescope’s primary mirror.
Following the inauguration, on 10 November 2018 Galbiati Group owner, Assunta Galbiati, and Sales Director Ivan Folla were invited to attend the ceremonies, once more confirming the importance of this project for Galbiati Group. In the inauguration ceremony the ASTRI radio telescope was dedicated to Italian astronomer Guido Horn d’Arturo. One of Horn d’Arturo’s most noteworthy scientific achievements is his invention of the ingenious “mosaic telescope”.
Moreover, already at the end of the 1960s Horn d’Arturo was already predicting the use of mosaic mirror technology for the Cherenkov telescopes. The mosaic mirrors solution developed by Horn d’Arturo was used for the construction of large size ground based and space telescopes, including the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT).
This is not the first astronomical project involving Galbiati Group, if we look at the past, for example the installation of Off-Set Telescopes, the SPT project (South Pole Telescope) at the South Pole research base, or the overhauling of the axis of azimuthal rotation of the Radiotelescope of 32 meters in Noto, always realized in collaboration with INAF, or still the realization of the Radiotelescope SRT (Sardinia Radio Telescope) in San Basilio, always realized in collaboration with INAF, the ALMA Radiotelescope built in collaboration with EIE GROUP .
Again in collaboration with the Italian national astrophysics institute (INAF), Galbiati Group also handled construction of the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) located in the famous “Pranu Sanguni” area, in the municipality of San Basilio approximately 40 km north of Cagliari.
This is the largest radio telescope in Italy at some 70 metres in height and weighing more than 3000 tonnes. With its 64-metre mirror it is one of the most technologically sophisticated instruments in the world, with extremely high astronomical performance.
Created for astrophysical research purposes in various fields (from the study of pulsars to that of galaxies and the molecular component of star-forming regions), the SRT has wide observation capacity, capable of capturing frequencies of up to 100 GHz.
The SRT is a modern and versatile radio telescope, with variable focal positions, innovative also in terms of the external structure of the dish, which is composed of a mosaic of 1,000 aluminium panels supported and controlled by servo mechanisms capable of compensating for metal structure deformation produced by gravity, temperature gradients and wind loads.
Galbiati Group is proud to have participated in the SRT radio telescope construction by supplying the planetary drives and elevating segments, the segments comprising the circular azimuth track and the associated four wheelboxes, responsible for the support and movement of the entire radio telescope.
Using ultra-modern numerically controlled machine tools (CNC milling machines and boring machines), Galbiati Group has once again achieved recognition for excellence, quality and precision. In particular, in the construction of the gear toothed segments the company managed to obtain tooth quality in excess of ISO-DIN 7 for each segment, normally attainable only with the use of dedicated machine tools such as very high precision hobbing machines and grinding machines.
Overall, the SRT project provides an exceptionally high technological contribution which, apart from the impact on the local area, is a driver for Italian and international scientific and technological development and can be expected to provide new answers to the fundamental questions concerning the physical nature of our universe, from the near solar system to the most remote radio sources.
The primary objective of Galbiati Group in all these projects has been the end result, which is highly positive and perfectly satisfactory from all perspectives. This confirms the organisation’s competence in the antennas and radio telescopes sector and outlines another success, on the heels of the many accomplishments already achieved in projects completed all over the world, further boosting the group’s professionalism in the fascinating and highly technological astronomy sector.
Projects like those described above have made Galbiati Group a reliable point of reference on the European and world markets for the construction of innovative and revolutionary products, not only in the metallurgical industry but also in the astronomy sector. Galbiati Group’s focus on innovation and high-tech production is the only way to guarantee the level of specialisation required for Italian businesses to remain competitive. In this context, specialisation is a key aspect of Galbiati Group and, pursued diligently and effectively in terms of capacity to propose valid solutions, it translates into an innate ability to identify with the needs of its clients and to develop industrialised solutions destined to become paradigms of excellence on the world stage.