Galbiati Group has recently manufactured in collaboration with the company EIE GROUP, an engineering company and an excellence in the Italian industrial landscape in the astronomy sector, a UTE (Unit Telescope Enclosure) radio telescope with final destination New Mexico, Socorro.
The MRO – Magdalena Ridge Observatory is an astronomical and research observatory located in the province of Socorro, New Mexico, in the Magdalena mountains. It is the result of a scientific collaboration between the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech – NMT) and the Cavendish Astrophysics Group of the University of Cambridge.
The MRO project includes the construction of a series of 10 radio telescopes with mirror and having 1.4 m diameter, arranged in a “Y” configuration, optically connected to each other, to make the images of astronomical objects even more detailed as never seen before. Through this technology, MRO radio telescopes will be able to capture images of celestial bodies with a resolution equal to 100 times the existing one and will be able to film complex astronomical objects much faster than all other observers now existing.
Each of these radio telescopes will be housed in a UTE (Unit Telescope Enclosure) that can be lifted and moved to any of the 28 stations planned through a dedicated relocation system. The MRO close-up array, located on three 340 m arms – including all 10 telescopes, many of which are at a relative center-to-center distance of less than 8 meters from each other – required an original design for the UTE radio telescope.
Galbiati Group took carried out the construction of the UTE radio telescope, in steel structure and rectangular shape, strong enough to support the weight of the radio telescope frame during its relocation. The external frame is made up of infill panels, created to protect the telescopes from atmospheric conditions.
The UTE radio telescope is made up of two parts: the upper rotating Dome part and the lower Shutter part which are stable, compact structures, both able to guarantee thermal protection, with low energy consumption. During spatial observations the Shutter tips over the Dome (which is a simple rotating structure), so their combined motion allows the cover to complete the radio telescope observing range.
The aim of the MRO radio telescopes will be to observe the formation of planets and stars, observe the birth of new stars and their mass reduction, optical and infrared radiation, leading to a greater knowledge of the space environment thanks to satellite images.
The following photos show the construction of the UTE radio telescope at the Galbiati Group workshops.