TRELLEBORG, Sweden—One of the heavy hitters in off-shore marine environment seal and dampening suppliers is going from the ocean floor to the night sky.
Trelleborg A.B.'s marine and infrastructure operation will supply inflatable and compression seals to the largest optical infrared telescope in the world, the company said Sept. 28.
Trelleborg has contracted with Cimolai S.p.A for the work.
Known as The Extremely Large Telescope and perched atop Cerro Armazones at an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the ELT will be completed in 2025.
The telescope is owned and operated by the European Southern Observatory and will gather 15 times more light than today's largest optical telescopes.
It will feature a 39-meter primary mirror and ground-breaking adaptive optics technology that will help correct distortions in the Earth's atmosphere, making the images sharper than those taken from space.
The seals are handmade and durable, helping to maintain the pressurized atmosphere within the ELT's classic dome shape. The seals are airtight from water, heat and dust and ensure there is no UV exposure within the opening.
"For our solutions to be specified is a impressive feat—one that is testament to our ability to design, manufacture and test bespoke sealing solutions, that provide impenetrable protection for up to 25 years in even the harshest of environments," said Andre de Graaf, sales director at Trelleborg's marine and infrastructure operation. "The ELT is a revolutionary scientific project that will address many of the most pressing unsolved questions about our universe."
In fact, the telescope will look back in time, enabling more detailed studies of planets, the first galaxies, black holes and what scientists call the "dark sector."
For more information, visit eso.org.