2018-04-05 - N.A.T. participates in launch of MicroTCA Technology Lab

Official Opening of MicroTCA Technology Lab at DESY, Hamburg, Germany

On the 5th of April 2018 DESY, the Helmholtz Association and industrial cooperation partners celebrate the Official Opening Event of the MicroTCA Technology Lab. The MicroTCA Technology Lab is one of seven Innovation Labs funded by the Helmholtz Association. DESY together with partners has created this User Innovation Lab.

In a show-room major boards and systems for potential users of this technology are demonstrated. For existing users of the technology the MicroTCA Technology Lab offers lab space with high-end measurement equipment where the DESY experts can test, verify and debug products under development together with the customer. Along with hardware development, the MicroTCA Technology Lab has a strong focus on FPGA firmware development. This allows them to offer firmware design services as well as complete system integration projects.   Logo MicroTCA Technology Lab

Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Helmut Dosch, Chairman of the Desy Board of Directors,  outlined in his welcome speech the importance of the MicroTCA.4 technology for the success of several accelerators at Desy Hamburg, e.g. for the just recently launched XFEL accelerator. The 3.4 km long European XFEL generates extremely intense X-ray flashes to be used by researchers from all over the world. XFEL was launched in September in-time and in-budget. The opening of the Desy MicroTCA Technology Lab is one milestone of the overall Desy 2030 strategy, where innovation and technology transfer have an important role. On a Desy map Dosch showed the impressive expansion and innovation plans of the Desy 2030 strategy.

Dr. Martin Kamprath, Program Manager Transfer and Innovation Helmholtz Association, explained in his welcome speech, how Helmholtz supported with the Helmholtz Validation Fond „MTCA.4 for Industry“ the evaluation, innovation and standardisation of the MicroTCA.4 standard. As an outcome this technology has outstanding advantages not available with any other technology, which can be demonstrated in a lot of installations. To make this „one technology for multiple solutions“ more wide spreaded the next logical step is to speed-up the usage and adaption of this technology. The funding of the Desy MicroTCA Technology Lab by Helmholtz and in-kind funding of industrial partners offers now consulting and development services with dedicated resources in Desy. These resources have full-access to the Desy beam control group MSK.

Dr. Arik Willner, CTO of DESY, outlined in his presentation „Technology Transfer at DESY: MicroTCA as a Case in Point“ the benefits of making outstanding technology invented inside DESY easier and faster available to the world. A key role for this is the support and service capability of the MicroTCA Technology Lab. The response on this service is already well recognised and more cooperations  started at this early days as expected.

In his speech „Operational Challenges Answered by MicroTCA.4“ Dr. rer. nat. Reinhard Brinkmann, Director of the Accelerator Division, explains the complexity and the challenges of the XFEL installation, why MicroTCA.4 technology was the right decision and that the expected signal quality expectation were exceeded by the MicroTCA.4 technology.

In their presentation „ Flashback: MicroTCA Development at DESY and SLAC“ Dipl. Ing. Kay Rehlich, Head of XFEL and FLASH control system until he retired 2017, and Ray Larson, Special Projects Manager SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Co-Founder and Chair of IEEE Smart Village Program, reviewed the evaluation phase of different form factors for high speed, high precision, highly synchronised data acquisition and fast control systems, the evolution of the MicroTCA standard to MicroTCA.4 to address the additional demands and the positive experience using the MicroTCA.4 technology in Flash and XFEL.

In the first industrial partner presentation „DESY as a Driver of MicroTCA Standard Development“,  Dipl. Ing. Vollrath Dirksen, Strategic Business Development Manager at N.A.T. highlighted the advantages of creating the MicroTCA.4 and MicroTCA.4.1 open standard by Desy, SLAC, other institutes and industrial partners, making innovation available outside the physical institutes. Several application examples e.g. test & measurement, motor test stands, traffic control systems, aerospace test beds, beam forming, audio and video conferencing system, and wireless telecommunication applications showed MicroTCA technology is used in a lot of sectors. The MicroTCA Technology Lab, with small and big installations at running at DESY,  is the ideal enabler of other companies and institutes to benefit from this technology.

At the official opening ceremony a big cake showing a double wide AMC comprising out of the AMC (front card) and its rear transition module (rear card) as typically used in a MicroTCA.4  system was cut: