Manufacturer Wins Prize for Technology Supporting Subaru Telescope's Primary Mirror
June 27, 2002
Shinko Denshi Co. won the 2001 Grand Prize for in Inventions for their high precision force sensors used to maintain the shape of Subaru Telescope's primary mirror. The prize rewards research and development by mid-size Japanese companies that have succeeded in the market place and is cosponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Inventions and the Nikkan Kogyo Shinbun Ltd.
Shinko Denshi's high precision force sensors are called tuning fork sensors. They combine a tuning fork that vibrates in response to weight, and a digital readout device that converts those vibrations into a measure of weight. These sensors are the heart of the 261 actuators that support Subaru Telescope's primary mirror so that it maintains a perfect shape no matter where it points in the sky. Masaaki Kobayashi, department head of the techonology department of the Shinko Denshi Tsukuba Office, who helped develop the sensors says, "at first I was surprised that a sensor developed for use in scales was adopted for use in a world class telescope like Subaru. As a researcher, it is great to see the long term stability and high precision of our sensors gain recognition."