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Air Force Lab Extends EXFO Actuator Contract
Aug 2002
QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, August 30 -- EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. announced that its contract has been extended with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the contract involves development of new high-precision actuator systems for AFRL by EXFO Burleigh Products Group Inc., located in Victor, N.Y.

Phase 1 of the contract involved development of a prototype motor system based on the Inchworm actuator patented by EXFO Burleigh Products Group. The prototype actuator, shipped to AFRL in December 2001, is 180 times more powerful than the current Inchworm model, with the same nanometer-level precision. In addition, it is 15 times faster and pushes more than 10 times the load of a classic Inchworm actuator, EXFO said. The performance extremes are suitable for potential scientific and defense applications including large adaptive-optic telescopes, space-based and airborne laser systems.

Phase 2 of the AFRL contract involves refinement of the Phase 1 concept, development of high-efficiency electronics and miniaturization as well as application testing, scheduled for the third quarter of 2004. Phase 2 funding of engineering project support extends through the first quarter of 2005.

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