News & Events


PML researchers at ISMA-USD 2020 conference

In spite of all the changes to our lifestyle seen this 2020, the ISMA-USD 2020 conference typically held in Leuven (BE) successfully moved forwards in a virtual format. For this reasons our researchers Ahmad Paknejad, Thomas Deahaeze and Guoying Zhao produced virtual presentations showcasing their work which you can view below.

Ahmad Paknejad on Active Vibration Damping of Bladed Structures

Thomas Dehaeze on Active Damping of Rotating Platforms Using Integral Force Feedback

Guoying Zhao on Active Seismic Vibration Isolation Using Inertial Sensors

ERC Research Project SILENT

ERC Consolidator project SILENT, of which ULB is a co-beneficiary, intends to develop a new platform designed to better isolate gravitational wave detectors. ‘The environment is controlled by an optical seismometer, a liquid inclinometer and a gravimeter: the platform will be the most stable ever built on Earth, and the detector will be virtually floating in its space’, explains Christophe Collette, researcher at BEAMS (École polytechnique de Bruxelles) and associate professor at Liège University. Click here for the full article. Access more information about the Einstein Telescope here.

The EU approves the ETEST project

The Einstein Telescope Euroregion Site and Technology project aims to pave the way for the construction of the largest interferometric gravitational wave observatory to be built on Earth. The approval of 15 million euros of funding, provided by the EU, the Walloon Region, the Flemish Region, the Dutch Ministry of Economy, North Rhine-Westphalia, the Province of Flemish Brabant, the Province of Limburg, will kickstart two sub-projects. The first one consists of an in depth study of the subsoil (down to 300m) on site. The second sub-project invovles de construction of a suspended cryogenic mirror, a feat never achieved before, which aims to validate the new technology required to increase the sensitivity of the Einstein Telescope to gravitational waves. More information.

ICCMA Best Presentation: Jennifer Watchi

At the ICCMA Conference held in Delft during the first week of November, PML’s Jennifer Watchi was awarded the best presentation certificate for her exposition on “Study of MIMO Control Laws for Seismic Isolation of Flexible Payload”.





The Einstein Telescope

The Einstein Telescope is an advanced gravitational-wave observatory, currently in the planning stage. The border region between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany is being considered as a possible location. This is because of its tranquillity, stable ground and strong ecosystem of scientific institutions and high-tech companies. Visit the einstein telescope website to find out more.


Concrete state monitoring through embedded sensors

During the public works being carried out in Brussel’s Rogier tunnel, Arnaud Deraemaeker together with Cédric Dumoulin are working together with the platform Bruxelles Mobilité to put in place a sensor network which will allow remote monitoring of the state of the concrete in the tunnel ceiling. Continue reading in French.


Active seismic isolation stage presentation at APPEC

Our researchers Binlei Ding and Guoying Zhao carrying out tests with the 1 degree of freedom experiment currently set up in our laser room. Here at PML we are working on the development of a new active isolation system which fulfills the high performance criteria in the low frequency domain (from 10 mHz to 10 Hz). To reach the requirements, a high-resolution optical inertial sensor is currently under development. It combines good mechanical properties of a STS-1V seismometer with a low-noise interferometric readout.

Read the full article on the talk by Christophe Collette at the APPEC Technology Forum.



Control and Mechatronics at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility

With the launch of the EBS (Extremely Brilliant Source project), many users will see data-acquisition times drop from milliseconds down to microseconds, and lower. That poses an issue for control systems, which will need to be more responsive in order to keep up, while maintaining synchronisation with the EBS storage ring.

It isn’t purely about timing, however. As more and more experimenters look towards the nanoscale, and want to perform their experiments more efficiently, control systems also need to become both more precise and more automated. This is where mechatronics can help. The ESRF already has plenty of expertise here, for example with the almost fully automated MASSIF beamlines at ID30, which can be set up to evaluate and probe macromolecular crystals without human intervention. For the EBS, a mechatronics task force has been created to work between groups within the ESRF’s Instrumentation Services and Development Division, and to provide a platform to share expertise in modelling, mechanics, electronics and software. A mechatronics laboratory is also forthcoming.

Various areas will see the benefits. Currently in development, a new double-crystal monochromator – the optical component that filters bundles of X-rays down to a single wavelength – will incorporate mechatronic concepts to improve precision. Similarly, the Nanopositioning and Active Stabilization Stage, or NASS, project – part of a collaboration with engineering physicist Christophe Collette at the University of Brussels in Belgium and colleagues – is working on a prototype for a new generation of highly integrated end-stations.

Read full article on pages 16-17 of the June 2018 edition of the ESRF News Journal.


ARC “Integrated Mechatronics for Active vibration ConTrol (IMpaCT)”

High precision instruments require active control in order to operate properly, and reduce their sensitivity to external disturbances. For example, gravitational wave detectors and large particle colliders require a strong isolation from ground motion. These active systems require assembling actuators and sensors with intermediate parts, which are often leading to sub-optimal architectures and additional mass, resulting in limitations of performance or robustness.

Thanks to very recent progress in additive manufacturing, it is now possible to print parts which are crack-free and with a strength comparable to that of wrought material. This opens a new door for designing active structures with optimal shapes, lightweight, and with a high degree of integration of mechatronic components, which is highly required in space applications. The objective of this project is to develop a design method, combining structural optimisation to shape active control performance and additive manufacturing. Two applications will be studied in this project: (1) Shape control of future large space telescope and (2) Isolation of sensitive equipments from launcher disturbances.


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