Roke launches high-voltage testing facility for medical equipment

3 November 2009

Roke Manor Research Ltd has launched the world’s first commercial generic high voltage test facility which will help manufacturers of high-end medical equipment decrease time to market for new products.

Previously the preserve of government establishments, the Roke High Voltage Facility will offer an additional option to both public and private sector organisations that wish to test and commission high voltage and high power radiofrequency (RF) equipment and make advances in radiotherapy technologies.

The new service can accommodate radio frequency power and voltage on a massive scale. It combines high voltage isolation with screening to 18 GHz frequency, whereby most other facilities only allow for testing at 50 Hz or at low voltage.

Alastair Cook, Industrial and Medical Business Sector Manager at Roke, said: “A major issue for organisations wanting to test high power and high voltage systems is the availability of facilities and management of the hazards. Reliance on government or academic services can mean that an organisation outside that sphere of influence doesn’t get priority when booking in lab time or full system tests can’t be done.

"This presents a serious dichotomy for organisations that want to accelerate time to market for their new products, but also need to conduct complex and often hazardous tests first.

“Our new High Voltage Facility represents the largest single investment Roke has made in testing for a number of years and we hope that organisations across the world will recognise the benefit of this unique and easy to access resource."

The high-end facility will be targeted at R&D specialists designing systems that require multiple high power amplifiers that have tight synchronisation demands and signal distribution complexity, have challenging high-voltage supply arrangements or involve energised structures subject to extreme voltages. In a controlled and isolated environment, the powering and test of high voltage power supplies, high power drivers and transmission lines can be conducted in complete safety.

The HV facility has two screened chambers, one for the equipment under test and a second to hold test equipment and power supplies. Control is performed from a remotely operated and isolated console from which tests can be controlled and progress viewed via a high resolution camera link and optically isolated test gear. The primary test chamber is 4.8m x 4.5m x 4.5m in volume and has double door access that can allow heavy structures to be manoeuvred into position.

To complement the facility there is a team of trained and competent personnel to help customers using the service, along with a robust set of procedures to enable a safe operating environment.

Roke Manor Research Ltd is an independent electronics research and development centre based in Romsey, Hampshire, UK and wholly owned by Siemens.


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