HQW Precision’s bearings chosen for world’s largest mid-infrared telescope


Construction is underway in Chile to build the largest optical/mid-infrared telescope in the world. The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) is scheduled to begin operation in 2025 and will be able to gather more information than ever before, vastly expanding our knowledge of the Universe. Bearing specialist, HQW Precision GmbH, is supplying super precision ZKLN bearings to the project, which will be used to accurately adjust the 800 mirrors positioned within the telescope.

The telescope includes a segmented primary mirror, approximately 40 m in diameter, which is made up from an array of 800 smaller hexagonal mirrors of around 1.4 m each. The ELT will have approximately 256 times the light gathering area of the Hubble Space Telescope and is expected to provide images 16 times sharper than those from Hubble. The positioning of the mirrors is critical in achieving this.

“The special internal geometry of the ZKLN bearings ensures very high axial stiffness and a split inner ring configuration removes play within the bearing,” says Eugen Bärwald, sales and applications engineer, at HQW Precision. “This ensures its high accuracy – vital for this application.

“We are extremely proud to be supplying bearings to this prestigious project. Together with our sister company, The Barden Corporation, as partners in precision, we are able to offer our customers world-class high quality and precision bearing products, with the expertise and flexibility to provide superior service.”

For more information visit www.hqw.gmbh.