Frequency Devices Awarded LIGO Contract

David DeVoe

HAVERHILL, Mass., (Business Wire)
Frequency Devices, Inc. a leading manufacturer of standard and custom, analog and digital-signal-processing (DSP) data acquisition solutions has been awarded a development contract by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) affiliated with the California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and funded by the National Science Foundation to develop an extremely low noise, multi-channel (VME) Digital-to-Analog converter (DAC) instrument.

About LIGO
Jay Heefner, Project Engineer – Control and Data Systems, indicates that the design proposed by Frequency Devices will enable Caltech to significantly "decrease the detection noise floor and thereby increase the sensitivity of the LIGO Interferometers." The LIGO observatory consists of two large-scale, widely separated laser interferometers located in Hanford Washington and Livingston Louisiana. When large masses in space move suddenly, a space-time curvature ripples outward. The space-time ripples cause the distance measured by a light beam to change as the gravitational wave passes by, causing the amount of light falling on a photo-detector to vary. LIGO will detect these ripples by measuring the length of one arm of the interferometer with respect to the other, with high precision. LIGO must detect movements as small as one-thousandth the diameter of a proton, which is the nucleus of a hydrogen atom. More than thirty different control systems are required to hold all of the lasers and mirrors in proper alignment and position. These control systems must be monitored continuously and be able to function without human intervention. Sophisticated simulation and control software along with state-of-the-art electronics are being developed to perform these tasks. For more information on LIGO visit Gregory T. Anderson, President of Frequency Devices comments "The challenge presented by the LIGO project plays on Frequency Devices strengths since this project requires the integration of precision analog design with state-of-the-art 24-bit digital-to-analog conversion to produce high resolution, low noise real-time data processing results".

About Frequency Devices
Frequency Devices, Inc. manufactures standard and custom module and instrumentation products that utilize analog, DSP, and integrated analog/DSP technology to provide signal-processing, signal-conditioning and data-acquisition solutions to original equipment manufactures, research facilities and universities around the world. Founded in 1968 to provide precision analog solutions for defense applications, today Frequency Devices is recognized as a leader in producing low noise and distortion (<-120 dB) products in small packages and with short product development cycles for applications with frequencies up to 20 mega-Hertz. From our headquarters in Ottawa, Illinois, Frequency Devices provides design, manufacturing and test services of precision components and instruments to many of the leading electronics manufacturing, test and research facilities around the world. Please visit or call 1-815-434-7800 for information on solutions provided by Frequency Devices.

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