Development of Instruments for Pioneering Research

Instrument development to enable groundbreaking scientific experiments.
Trusted and experienced partner for the scientific community.

25 Years of Scientific Experience

In working for renowned institutes in pioneering scientific research

Experienced in Contract-Based Development

Experienced in contract-based development of complex instruments

Extreme Environmental Conditions

Instruments for use in vacuum, cryogenic or magnetic environments

World-Class Manufacturing Technology

Embedded in the technology & manufacturing hotspot of the world

The Key to Bespoke Scientific Instruments

We stand out in the development of cutting edge, bespoke scientific instruments. We enable the scientific community to perform the most extreme experiments. These are our assets.

What do we Offer

Precision engineering for science

We share the curiosity with respect to the questions in present fundamental science research. We deploy our expert knowledge in precision engineering and mechatronics instrument development to contribute to the advances in this field.

Contract based development

Pioneering scientific research pushes the limits of technical feasibility in instrumentation development. Therefor the development of bespoke instruments is not always easy to manage in terms of timing and budgets. On top of that, these programs are mostly executed under rigid administrative and financial regulations. This can complicate the involvement of commercial development partners. However, our leading engineering expertise and our long-term experience in this working field make that we can excel within this challenging environment.

Advanced production facilities

We have cleanroom facilities for assembly, integration and testing. We don’t have manufacturing facilities as we closely cooperate within an established network of subcontractors that is specialized in manufacturing high precision parts, optics, surface treatments, etc. These companies are part of the global technology and manufacturing hotspot, related to the vast high-tech OEM industry in our (Eindhoven) region. In such a way we can keep full focus on our key expertise which is developing innovative and pioneering scientific instrumentation.

We are always open for new opportunities. Let’s discuss what we can do for you!

Huub Janssen – CEO & founder of JPE

Interested to find out what we can do for you?

Business Cases

We respect the confidential nature of the work that we perform for our customers. Therefore we can only display a small collection of our developments. Feel free to contact us to discuss any opportunity.

Configurable Slit Unit

Multi-Object Masking Mechanism for Astronomy

Problem

The light spectrum of stars contains valuable information for astronomy research. In order to derive the spectrum of a single, specific object in the sky it should be isolated from other objects. For the GTC telescope, the largest telescope in the world, it was envisioned to develop a configurable slit unit (CSU) for this purpose. This CSU should be able to make 55 individual slits, by inserting 110 independently driven masking bars with micrometer motion accuracy, from opposite sides of a 340 mm square field of view. And by the way, in a vacuum and 77 Kelvin (LN2) environment.

Solution

Within the given constraints of vacuum and cryogenic operation, and moreover the limited design envelope, there were no position actuators and sensors available on the market that could be used to drive the 110 individual masking elements. We came up with a promising concepts for both vital functions. Feasibility was proven by breadboard testing. From there a controlled project with integrated risk mitigation actions was defined; a clear path was followed from breadboard to a fully engineered and qualified solution via intermediate prototype milestones.

Result

The CSU is installed as part of the EMIR instrument on the Gran Telescopio Canarias on the island La Palma (Canary Islands). It is the first instrument ever which enables (re)configuration of the masking elements at cryo temperatures in astronomy. By this, the CSU enables to capture a unprecedented amount of individual objects in the sky per observation night; the observing capacity is unrivelled by factors compared to other existing observatories. This means a massive step forward for the astronomy community in the quest to build a better understanding of the universe.

High Transmission X-Ray Spectrometer

Advanced Material Research

Problem

An renown cyclotron facility had identified the need to extend their capabilities for advanced material research in the direction of batteries and solar cells. More specifically, the need was identified to include a soft x-ray spectrometer within the energy range between 54.3 eV to 1836 eV. Such a system is not commercially available, though based on previous studies an optical scheme had been established for this spectrometer. Within the optical concept, a number of optical elements should be moved (gratings, aptertures, mirrors) over centimeters range with micrometer accuracy and submicron stability.

Solution

The design and realization of the spectrometer was tendered to the industry. The major challenge within the contract was not only the fullfillment of the motions, but also the stress-free and stable integration of the sensitive optical elements into the mechanism.

Out of the competition, we were contracted based on two decisive assets. The ability to use our own of-the-shelf actuators which were completely suited for the job was a decisive risk mitigation for the customer. Our long-standing expertise in kinematic and stress-free optical mounts was seen as a second crucial expertise.

Result

The spectrometer has been designed and built by JPE. Manafucturing was sub-contracted within our established network of manufacturing partners.

The spectrograph is installed at the beamline endstation and succesfully commisioned. It will enable the scientific community to further extend material research to the benefit of the whole society.

High Magnet Field Sample Rotator

Material Research by Neutron Scattering in High Magnetic Field

Problem

For various kinds of fundamental physics research, samples are placed in an extremely high magnetic field and then bombarded with neutrons. The scattering pattern of particles that are ‘blown away’ reveals valuable scientific insights.

The facility with the worldwide strongest continuous magnet for neutron scattering experiments was in need for a mechanism to rotate samples during experiments. In other words: we need a sample rotator that operates in a 25T strong magnet field, at Ultra High Vacuum pressure, and 0.5 K absolute temperature and within a very confined envelope at the extremely compact center of the magnet.

Solution

Based on our own of-the-shelf actuators with proven ability to work under these conditions, and our long-term experience in developing scientific experimental instrumentation we were selected as a partner for this development.

Due to the confined envelope availble within the magnet structure, we proposed the option to design the sample rotator mechanism as an integral part of the magnet inner core structure. This urged for a very close cooperation with the customer for proper alignment of all details, but it enabled us to come up with a bespoke design for the mechanism that fullfilled every aspect of the requirements.

Result

The sample rotator was designed and produced by JPE. The core of the mecahism was was tested at JPE facilities at 4K before transfer to the customer’s facility to ensure up-to-spec operation before installation. Thereafter, the rotator mechanism is integrated in the setup at the customer’s site. Here it will open up new possibilities for users of the High Magnetic Field Facility for Neutron Scattering and allow to do exciting new research.

New projects

Cryogenic Vibration Isolator for Einstein Telescope

The optical Cold Mirror in the ET Pathfinder needs to be supported completely quiet. Nevertheless cooling wires will be needed to make a thermal connection to the so called Cold Finger which is connected to a cryo plant providing cooling to 8K. Seismic vibrations from the floor and from the cooling plant will excite the Cold Finger and vibrations of the Cold Finger will be transferred to the Cold Mirror. In order to minimize this, stabilization of the Cold Finger is required.

Project Background

The Einstein Telescope is a future underground gravitational wave observatory. The border region of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany is in the picture as a possible location. The ‘Einstein Telescope Technologies’ project contributes to the realization of the Einstein Telescope in various ways. Within this project, 12 knowledge institutions and companies are working together on the necessary breakthrough technologies, soil research and spin-off of technologies to other sectors. The project focuses on The Netherlands and complements other research and work within, among others, ETpathfinder, E-TEST and ET2SMEs.
Technical challenges
There are technical challenges in a number of areas to realize the Einstein Telescope (ET). For example: vibration-free cooling, better sensors, new algorithms to isolate gravitational wave signals from noise, and the realization of the world’s largest ultra-high vacuum system. In addition, it is essential to properly characterize the subsurface in order to find out how the Einstein Telescope can best be installed in it. It is also important to investigate how the Einstein Telescope can be built and used in the most sustainable way possible. These aspects are all addressed in the Einstein Telescope Technologies (ETT) project. In this project, a consortium consisting of 12 knowledge institutions and companies is working together to overcome these technical challenges.
Spin-offs beyond the horizon
The work packages of this project do not only contribute directly to the Einstein Telescope. There is also the prospect of applications in other areas. A great example of how modern physics can have a huge impact on technology and our daily lives is the widely used GPS in navigation systems: without the corrections resulting from Einstein’s general relativity theory, the satellite navigation would send the driver into a meadow after a few hours of driving!
Leading through Innovation
In addition to developing the necessary technology for ET and generating technological spin-off, this project also aims to optimally position the Dutch industry for ET-related orders and to promote cooperation with various leading Dutch companies. Even if the ET will not be realized in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, these parties will acquire a better starting position in future ET-related tenders. Conversely, by intensifying the collaboration with Dutch industry, the case for ET in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine will be strengthened, enabling The Netherlands to better position itself to realize a world-class scientific infrastructure within national borders with all the related positive impact on the region.
About the Einstein Telescope
In 2015, the first gravitational wave on Earth was detected by two so-called laser interferometers. Since then, dozens of gravitational waves have been observed and we literally have a completely new way to study our universe; gravitational waves offer a huge discovery potential for things In the universe cannot be explored with light. Despite the revolutionary first observations of gravitational waves, current observatories are not sensitive enough to detect gravitational waves throughout the history of our universe. This requires a better instrument: the Einstein Telescope (ET).
Financing
This project was made possible in part by a financial contribution from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZK) and Climate and the Province of Limburg.
The ERDF and EZK funds are deployed through the OPZuid 2014-2020 Program and REACT-EU.
The Operational Program ERDF 2014-2020 Southern Netherlands (OPZuid) is a European subsidy program for the provinces of Zeeland, Limburg and North Brabant. The topics are promoting innovation and the transition to a low-carbon economy. The program is mainly aimed at innovative SMEs and strengthening cooperation between the business community, knowledge institutions and governments.
REACT-EU is a direct response from the European Union to the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU is making additional resources available for the economic recovery of the regions. Projects are innovative, ready to start and contribute to one of the five social transitions. The provinces of Noord-Brabant, Limburg and Zeeland have each individually identified specific eligible activities that are important for a green, digital and resilient recovery of the economy within their province.
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