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Did You Know? The FAST Telescope in China

by Don Macleod

Did you know the same technology that drives the new Five-hundred-meter Aperature Spherical Telescope (FAST) in China is available to Applied Motion Products customers everywhere? Initiated in 1994, the FAST telescope is a key national scientific and technological infrastructure project in China. Standing in a region of typical Karst depressions in Guizhou province, the dish-like telescope will be as large as 30 football fields. The FAST's main spherical reflector will be composed of thousands of panels, and its observation sensitivity will be 10 times more powerful than the 100-meter aperture steerable radio telescope in Germany. Its overall capacity will also be 10 times larger than what is now the world's largest (300 m) Arecibo radio telescope developed by the United States, according to Nan Rendong, the chief scientist of the project and an NAO researcher.

Outdoor applications in mountainous areas such as this are a huge challenge to the motor and drive components as they are exposed to temperature extremes and moisture buildup, both of which combine to cause internal corrosion that can quickly shorten the product’s life. Patented technology from our parent company, Moons Industries, along with exceptional custom design capacity and world-class manufacturing capabilities enable these step motors and drives to beat the harsh environment and deliver stable, precise performance as a critical motion control component in the system.

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