KVH opens state-of-the-art facility at its world headquarters, supporting rigorous testing procedures for mobile satellite antennas
MIDDLETOWN, RI – March 29, 2012 - Committed to providing global high speed Internet, television, and voice services to mobile users at sea, on land, and in the air, KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI), recently opened a new testing facility that houses a custom-made hexapod motion simulator. Construction on the facility began in 2010 and was completed in 2011, creating a dedicated space for advanced motion testing with a clear view of critical satellites. The new building is adjacent to KVH’s world headquarters in Middletown, RI, and supports all TracPhone® and TracVision® products. The facility allows KVH to advance its industry-leading quality assurance program, providing outstanding products for marine, RV, and automobile customers.
The satellite observatory is equipped with a custom-designed, curved wall of windows with a perfect view of the satellites that provide TV and communications signals to KVH antennas. The facility has a cantilever roof, which uses a beam anchored at only one end of the structure. This single-beam support ensures that the arced windows on the opposite wall have no corner columns or other obstructions. KVH also used polycarbonate windows, ensuring clear satellite signals. Standard glass windows contain traces of lead, which can interfere with these signals, so KVH opted to use translucent polycarbonate instead to more accurately replicate the outdoor conditions in which fielded systems operate.
“The design and location of the building allow KVH engineers to test products efficiently and thoroughly in a controlled environment,” says Jeffrey Greer, vice president of operations at KVH. “The rectangular shape of the building, with its arced radius of windows, provides a full, clear view of the Clarke Belt,” he explains. Satellites in the Clarke Belt orbit the Earth about 22,500 miles above the equator, broadcasting TV and communications signals.
The new hexapod, or Stewart Platform, used inside the facility was built for KVH by Mikrolar, a New Hampshire company that designs and produces high precision positioning systems. KVH’s ultra reliable, state-of-the-art products are routinely subjected to testing procedures, such as vibration, humidity, and motion simulation tests, and the new hexapod allows even greater flexibility for these operations. This high-tech approach to testing ensures industry-leading quality and reliability for KVH customers.
“Our custom-made, one-of-a-kind hexapod is a unique tool that allows us to test our products like no one else,” says Robert Balog, senior vice president of engineering at KVH. “This motion simulator was specifically designed for KVH and it is especially unique because its six legs change length, unlike any other hexapod,” he explains. The motion simulator manipulates pistons and rotates huge gears to simulate realistic, tumultuous movements like those experienced on yachts and commercial vessels, especially during bad weather. This process helps to ensure that fielded antennas are capable of maintaining a lock on the satellite without any malfunctions due to vigorous or unexpected movement.
While under development, all of KVH’s TracPhone and TracVision products undergo meticulous motion simulation tests in the new satellite observatory, including the new, 1-meter TracPhone V11 and TracVision HD11. The design and location of the testing facility allows KVH engineers to easily perform regular, rigorous testing, supporting the company’s commitment to providing top-of-the-line products to people on the go around the globe. In-motion satellite TV and communications customers can rest assured that KVH is dedicated to providing products that are designed and tested for maximum performance.
For more information about KVH Industries, please visit http://www.kvh.com/.
About KVH Industries, Inc.
KVH Industries, Inc., is a leading provider of in-motion satellite TV and communications systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 150,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on vessels, vehicles, and aircraft. Winner of 36 National Marine Electronics Association Industry Awards, the prestigious General Motors Innovative Design Award, 2 CES Innovation Awards, the DAME Award in the Marine Electronics category, and a finalist for the Automotive News PACE Award, KVH’s mission is to connect mobile customers with the same digital television entertainment, communications, and Internet services that they enjoy in their homes and offices. The company is based in Middletown, RI, with facilities in Illinois, Denmark, Norway, and Singapore.