January 10, 2014 9:00 am

Synchrotron unveils new equipment built by Saskatoon engineering firm

New state-of-the-art equipment for the synchrotron built by Saskatoon-based engineering firm.

Devin Sauer / Global News

SASKATOON – A new state-of-the-art piece of equipment for the synchrotron has been built by a Saskatoon-based engineering firm.

The Canadian Light Source (CLS) unveiled its new elliptical polarizing undulator (EPU) on Thursday afternoon.

CLS says demand for the EPU was essential for future research.

“The new elliptical polarizing undulator is the largest of its kind in the world,” said Mike McKibben, CLS director of technical support.

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“The EPU uses powerful magnets to cause the electron beam of the synchrotron to generate X-rays of controllable polarization.”

While CLS currently has two EPUs in operation, uniqueness was needed for this particular project. CLS turned to RMD Engineering to build the CLS-designed machine, a challenge owner Jim Boire said his company was prepared to handle.

“We have the capability to compete with anyone in the world on these projects,” said Boire.

“We have the people, the ingenuity and the determination to compete for these kinds of projects and we hope to continue manufacturing for the CLS and synchrotrons around the world.”

RMD spent over 9,500 work-hours engineering, machining and assembling the EPU comprised of nearly 1,110 parts, including 865 manufactured components.

CLS officials say RMD is now positioned to be a world-class leader for manufacturing sophisticated synchrotron equipment.

“This EPU can switch between high-energy and low-energy experiments. This allows researchers using the synchrotron to study and develop state-of-the art technology, from superconductors to car batteries,” said McKibben.

Engineers at CLS will now calibrate the machine and position 1,560 rare earth magnets onto the EPU and once tested, will be moved into position and be operational in 2015.

The Canadian Light Source is located at the University of Saskatchewan and has delivered over 26,000 experimental shifts since beginning operations in 2005.

RMD Engineering has been providing service to Saskatchewan’s industrial and resource development sectors for over a decade.

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