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Power Jacks has been selected by Cavendish Laboratory to supply metric ball screw jacks for the elevation for Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI) antenna dishes.

Power Jacks supplied 10 50kN metric ball screw jacks in translating screw configuration with a stroke of 1,050mm.

These ball screw jacks operate in normal UK outdoor conditions and allow the antenna to operate at wind speeds of up to 50mph.

The ball screw jacks also allows the AMI to achieve a pointing accuracy of better than half a minute of arc (1/120 of a degree).

They are mounted on a special trunnion base at their gearbox and clevis end on the lead screw.

The ball screw is protected from the elements by bellows boot and has a safety stop nut to protect from accidental over travel.

The AMI is a twin-array radio telescope (spanning 13.5-18GHz) operated by the Astrophysics group at the Cavendish Laboratory.

It is designed to find and visualise very faint cm-wave structures on scales 750-3,000mm on angular scales of 10 minutes of arc (1/6 of a degree) to 30 seconds of arc (1/120 of a degree) at a very fast surveying speed and observe the Cosmic Microwave Background, the left over radiation from the Big Bang.

The principal operation of the AMI is to carry out surveys for clusters of galaxies, to image these clusters in detail and to search for topological defects, which were created a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang.

The twin-array radio is made up of a Small Array, consisting of 10 3.7m-diameter antennas and a Large Array consisting of eight 13m diameter antennas.

Both arrays employ Fourier transform correlators each with a total bandwidth of 4.5GHZ.

The Cavendish Laboratory based in West Cambridge is part of the University of Cambridge’s School of Physical Sciences.

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