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The Netherlands Builds support structure for the world's largest telescope

VDL ETG Projects, part of VDL Groep, will build the support structure for the main mirror of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) of ESO (European Southern Observatory) in northern Chile. The design was realised together with TNO, supported by NOVA (Netherlands Research School for Astronomy). The support structure consists of 798 supports for mirror segments, which together form the main mirror (with a diameter of more than 39 meters) of the telescope. This order, which will be delivered over a period of about five years, is worth tens of millions of euros. This represents a special achievement by Dutch industry.

Kees Buijsrogge, TNO Director of Space and Scientific Instrumentation: “TNO’s ambition is to develop innovative space and scientific instruments and systems together with industry, users and other knowledge institutes. To this end we use our experience in the field of optical instrumentation and precision mechanics for the aerospace, astronomy and semiconductor industry for the design and testing of structures that have to be positioned on a nanometre scale (one millionth of a millimetre). We are therefore proud to have contributed to this very attractive assignment for Dutch industry.”