Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO) has named WSP's team in Chile as its construction management firm for the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) in the southern Atacama Desert.
The scheme will develop the first of the next generation of giant ground-based telescopes that promise to revolutionise understanding of the universe.
The GMT will be constructed at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, an astronomical observatory owned by the Carnegie Institution for Science.
GMTO is leading the planning, design and construction of the GMT on behalf of its international partners. As its construction manager. WSP will work on behalf of GMTO to oversee all aspects of the construction, including budget, schedule, cost estimation, change control and site acceptance.
WSP will draw upon its global organisation to deliver this iconic project, including its members of its US team and people from Poch, a 730-employee engineering and environmental consulting company based in Chile that was acquired by WSP in July 2017.
The GMT is a multiple mirror telescope that will employ seven of today's largest monolithical glass mirrors. It will have a resolving power 10 times greater than that of the Hubble Space Telescope in the infrared region of the spectrum. The unprecedented light-gathering power and angular resolution of the GMT is designed tohelp to address many of the leading questions in 21st century astronomy.
"We are really pleased to be working on this landmark project, which once, completed, should be the world's largest telescope,” said Miguel Sánchez, executive sponsor of the project. “This project truly reflects the depth and breadth of our firm. Acting as an extension of the GMTO staff, the WSP construction management team will protect the client's interests in all areas of project implementation from planning and design through procurement and construction and into operation and maintenance.”
Commissioning of the telescope is scheduled to begin in 2023.