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21 Feb 17. What sounds like science fiction is now reality for a new Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) laboratory in Silicon Valley. Technicians from Denmark installed a new linear particle accelerator at the company’s Advanced Technology Center to cap a significant expansion in space instrument testing. The accelerator, one of a few in the world, is part of a collection of new testing hardware designed to take spacecraft to new levels of capability and performance.
“Before we send new materials and instruments into orbit, we must first ensure they will survive the brutal environment of space,” said David Knapp, lead scientist for SPARC. “So we replicate the space environments in vacuum chambers here on Earth and analyze the results.”
The SPARC encompasses 1,800 square feet and includes new hardware to test sensitive instruments that range from space-based imaging and communications satellites to deep space navigation.
The testing machines are extremely precise. For example, the particle accelerator speeds protons to over 12 million miles per hour, or 2 percent the speed of light. The electron accelerator shoots electrons to 66 percent the speed of light, and the solar simulator delivers 2.5 suns worth of light exposure. All the instruments are precisely positioned to less than 100 microns, many times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Equipment in the center includes the particle accelerator, electron accelerator, solar simulators, UV arc lamps, electrostatic discharge equipment, reflectance measurement probes, residual gas analyzer, precision motion stages, liquid and nitrogen cooling. The facility also incorporates large 5ftx10ft vacuum chambers for flexible testing.
21 Feb 17. BAE Systems invests £25m to build new apprentice training centre in UK. BAE Systems Submarines has invested £25m for the development of a new apprentice training facility in the UK. The new central training facility be built in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and will help nurture the skills needed to address complex engineering challenges. The same town is also home to the country’s submarine design and build headquarters.
UK Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon said: “This investment demonstrates the benefits that our growing defence budget brings for highly skilled jobs in the North West and across the country.
“It will ensure we have people with the skills necessary to deliver one of the most complex programmes in the world and help modernise our fleet of nuclear submarines.”
The central training building will cover an area of 8,000m² and provide apprentices with an effective learning environment. It will also function as a training centre for the wider workforce. Training for an estimated 1,000 craft and technical apprentices belonging to the mechanical, steelwork and electrical disciplines will be offered at the facility. BAE Systems Submarines managing director Tony Johns said: “The design and build of a nuclear-powered submarine is one of the world’s most complex and technically demanding engineering challenges.
“It’s vital we have the right people with the right skills to deliver these programmes. This investment underlines our commitment to the future, and the new facility will provide a modern learning environment to supplement the training our apprentices already receive.”
Construction work on the facility is already underway, and the new training centre is scheduled for opening next year. It is slated to include classrooms, offices, craft workshops, a teaching block and other welfare facilities. (Source: naval-technology.com)
21 Feb 17. BAE Systems downgrades Clyde shipyard investment. Majo