Prototype Equipment Design

Prototype Equipment Design

March 08, 2012 13:54 ET

Prototype Equipment Design Manufactures Components for the World's Largest Radio Telescope

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2012) - Located in Victoria, BC, Prototype Equipment Design (PED) has recently completed and delivered a small but vital component to a billion dollar astrophysical project called the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) Observatory. ALMA is a joint multinational project creating the world's largest radio telescope, consisting of an array of 66 radio dishes. The installation is located in Chile in the highest and driest desert in the world.

For Canada's contribution, the National Research Council of Canada agreed to design, develop and deliver 73 state-of-the-art receivers, critical to the operation of ALMA. Based on their experience and relationship with NRC, PED was asked to produce a small but important component. "Our reputation for being able to take on unique design challenges and manufacture machined parts with incredible accuracy and repeatability is a big part of why we were given the opportunity to be a contributor to this historic project," comments President, Ray Brougham.

The precisely machined component of each receiver is a waveguide assembly that filters radio waves from the sky so the receiver 'hears' only those between 84 and 116 gigahertz. The machining requirement was very demanding. All aspects had tight tolerances, +/- 5 microns on many of the features and +/-10 microns on others. Using their expertise and state-of-the-art CNC machining equipment, the team was able to attain the tolerances in each piece, and repeatability between parts.

This type of precision work is not foreign to PED - their core competency is producing prototype and custom equipment for the semiconductor industry, the medical industry, and national defense. According to Brougham, "our main goal is to take customers' designs and make them manufacture-able from the perspective of price, repeatability, and quality. This is typically a very collaborative and rewarding effort."

About the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA)

The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

About Prototype Equipment Design (PED)

In 2001, PED was formed in response to an opportunity to produce semiconductor crystal growth equipment for the semiconductor industry. PED has since expanded to also serve the medical, aerospace, automotive, scientific, and hi-tech industries.

The focus of PED is to provide complete solutions to individuals and companies looking for smart solutions to their engineering needs. Their strengths assure efficient production, tight tolerances, stringent quality control, and quick turnaround times to satisfy the toughest demands of customers. They find solutions for technically challenging and complex engineering challenges that others don't.

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