Product Assurance for SKA
As part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Project, AEON are providing the governance and engineering support for the successful realisation of a the world’s largest radio telescope, the SKA.
AEON are operating across multiple engineering disciplines to ensure the sustainable development, manufacture and commissioning, of both commercial-off-the-shelf and novel technologies. AEON’s diverse expertise across engineering disciplines allows us to support and influence the manufacture and construction of the SKA, assuring that lessons during these processes are learnt and feed back into development process to increase capability, quality and value.
The two radio telescopes, sited in Australia and South Africa, are supported by globally distributed design and manufacturing teams, all of which must be consolidated and managed to ensure the project comes to fruition on-time, on-budget and on-spec. From managing the production quality of carbon-fibre sandwich panels, to rigorous testing of software algorithms.
Signal and Data Transport (SaDT)
AEON is providing the Systems Engineering support to the Signal and Data Transport (SaDT) Consortium – an organisation of 15 globally distributed institutions. The SaDT Element forms a pivotal part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which may be split into two primary functions:
- Generate and distribute high-precision timing signals for array synchronisation.
- Provision of science and non-science data networks, incl. monitor and control.
AEON has supported the University of Manchester (the consortium’s lead institution) since 2016 as part of works toward the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). Since that time, AEON has continued to manage the consortium’s engineering outputs; and providing expertise of commercial engineering practices required to ensure a project of this scale is correctly specified, procured, constructed and commissioned.
More recently, AEON has played a pivotal role in assisting the SaDT consortium complete the element Critical Design Review (CDR).
Maser Verification System (MVS)
Commercial and industrial use of maser devices (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is increasing, although the deployment of active hydrogen masers is often troublesome, as they require very specific conditions for stable operation.
AEON have developed a Maser Verification System (MVS) (patent pending) to assure that a facility’s environment is correctly designed and conditioned to support the operation of a high-stability timescale.
AEON can either utilise MVS to verify the suitability of as-built facilities, or can deploy the system to prescribe the required environmental conditions based on the intended purpose of maser.
Furthermore, AEON can offer the MVS as part of a real-time monitor and control system, such that changes to environmental conditions may be mitigated through localised adjustment to key parameters.
HiLumi ATLAS Experiment
AEON has worked alongside the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in providing designs for two aspects of the ATLAS HiLumi Project, namely:
- Design, analysis and manufacture of Inner Detector Service Modules.
- Design and analysis of Detector Support Barrels.
Service Modules are common, modular structures providing power, signal transport and cryogenic cooling to/from the inner core of the ATLAS Detector, therefore enabling the operation of the silicone detectors mounted on the Detector Staves.
Most critically, the Service Modules are of a low active mass, meaning that the structures and services are transparent to the sub-atomic particles produced as a result of the collision event.