Sensors for the world´s largest eye.
In 2025, the world's largest and most powerful optical reflector telescope, in Short E-ELT, is expected to enter service. Nearly 10,000 ceramic LTCC electronic modules developed specifically for this project will be installed in edge sensors for position measurement. The sensors on the nearly 800 hexagonal segments of the primary mirror are so precise that they can determine the mirror positions to within a few nanometers. This ensures perfect alignment of the mirror elements that make up the highly specialized and complex system of the primary telescope mirror.
The telescope's mirrors capture visible light and a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The precision work of the edge sensors on the mirrors and the bundling of 15 times more light than in previous telescopes make it possible to capture extraordinary images that are 16 times sharper than those of the Hubble Telescope.
LTCC technology as the basis for the electronics enables the position sensors to be used in the very demanding conditions and ensures long-term stable and reliable measurement results under the harsh conditions in the field.
At the E-ELT's site, in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest desert in the world, temperature differences of 30 degrees during the day and minus 15 degrees at night prevail. The high-performance sensors from the Micro-Hybrid LTCC Competence Center in Ilmenau are resistant to these enormous temperature ranges.
The client for the mammoth project is the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, ESO. It is the leading intergovernmental organization for astronomy in Europe and focuses on the construction and operation of ground-based observation facilities with ambitious programs.
We eagerly await the images and answers to the origin of all life.