The China International Industry Fair Awards (CIIF Awards) is currently the only industrial exhibition award approved by the State Council in China. The CIIF Awards are only 10 items, covering cutting-edge technologies in the global materials, equipment, energy, medical, aerospace, and core components. They are the vane of global manufacturing technology innovation.
Recently, the 21st China International Industry Fair was grandly opened at the Shanghai International Convention and Exhibition Center. The National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China National Science and Technology Group’s Fiberhome Communications Corporation jointly developed the “FAST Large-Core, Ultra-stable, Curved and Movable Optical Cables” and won the New Materials Professional Award. This is another important honor of the project after winning the second prize of Guizhou Science and Technology Progress Award.
As a national “major scientific engineering” project, the 500-meter spherical radio telescope (FAST) is built by the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It has China’s independent intellectual property rights, the world’s largest single-caliber, the most sensitive radio telescope project, and is known as “China Eyes.” As of August 28, 2019, “Tianyan” has found 132 high-quality pulsar candidates and confirmed that 93 of them are newly discovered pulsars.
The “Eye of the Sky” project consists of an active reflector system, a feed support system, a measurement control system, a receiver and a terminal observation base. The feed compartment is the “eyeball” of the entire “Eye-Eye” system and is the most sophisticated core detection component in the feed support system. As an important transmission component connecting the feed compartment and the control system, FAST moving optical cable undertakes the transmission of massive astronomical detection data and is the “optical nerve” of the “Eye of the Eye” system.
In the feed support system of the cable net structure, the 30-ton heavy feed tank suspended from the upper air working needs to achieve millimeter-level precision movement within a range of 500 m. This world-class technological breakthrough has made the comprehensive performance of “China Sky Eye” far superior to other similar facilities, and it is possible to observe radio signals beyond 10 billion light years. The special feature of the FAST moving cable is that it needs to be in a continuous reciprocating movement during the continuous adjustment of the position of the feed compartment. During the design service life, the mechanical movement of repeated bending, winding and torsion of FAST moving optical cable must reach 66,000 times, and it is subject to the strong weather resistance test brought by harsh natural environment such as wind, rain and ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, the curved movable optical cable that undertakes the massive data transmission between the high-altitude feed cabin and the ground control room is one of the key technologies that is the most technically difficult in the feeding support feeder entry scheme, but must be self-conquered.
The dynamic optical cable developed by the bonfire for four years has successfully completed the bending fatigue life test of 100,000 times. Its bending resistance has reached one hundred times of the highest standard in China. The ultra-high fatigue life can achieve flexible support under long-span motion. The analog signal and data transmission, and effectively ensure the ultra-stable data transmission in the state of motion, successfully passed the “FAST cable condition simulation experiment” acceptance. The application of the bonfire FAST moving optical cable effectively solves the key technical problems of the FAST radio telescope and guarantees the engineering requirements for the transmission of massive astronomical observation data of “China Sky Eye”. This technological achievement has pushed the static use of optical cables to a new field of dynamic applications, and was praised by Professor Nan Rendong, chief engineer and chief scientist of FAST project.