CERN Large Hadron Collider Science and technology are pretty cool, huh? It is amazing what human beings have created and accomplished with the knowledge gathered from science. We have landed a robot vehicle on Mars, deployed wireless networks that link billions of people together, travelled to the bottom of the ocean in deep sea submarines, and so much more. Science helps us better comprehend how nature works so that we can devise technologies that help humans live more safely, productively and successfully.

An organization that is doing some highly advanced scientific research is CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN conducts basic research into subatomic particles in its enormous facility in Switzerland and France, home of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. At the LHC, CERN slams subatomic particles together to advance fundamental knowledge about matter and the universe. Two experiments at the LHC have recently announced the discovery of a particle which is probably the Higgs boson, a cornerstone of modern physics.

Being a fan of science, I was excited to hear that CommScope has a behind-the-scenes role in making all this happen-by supplying cabling to CERN. To be clear, subatomic particle research facilities are not CommScope's typical customers. Most end-users of the HELIAX® FXL® smoothwall cabling we've provided are wireless network operators who use it to link radio frequency equipment at cellular sites. But CERN is using FXL smoothwall in its transverse damper system, a vital part of the LHC. Unlike the wireless operators who typically install lengths of cable in the tens of meters, CERN is deploying lengths of 350-750 meters per cable. And apparently it is happy with the cable's performance.

According to Dr. Daniel Valuch, Radio Frequencies Group, CERN, "We chose FXL smoothwall cable due to its electrical properties. The impulse response of the cable does not suffer from nonlinear phase behavior at higher frequencies, helping to obtain a very clean impulse response for the nano-second long pulses being transmitted."

That's a lot of electrical engineering jargon. But I think what Dr. Valuch is saying is that our FXL smoothwall cable offered better electrical performance for how CERN needs to use it. That sounds pretty cool to me. It's also satisfying to hear about the level of support that CommScope provided as part of this project. Dr. Valuch continued, "Commscope kindly offered to give training to the cable installers, as well as provide onsite support during the first days of the installation campaign. This support was extremely valuable and very much appreciated."

That just makes me proud to be part of CommScope, a company providing quality RF products with superior service. With that said, has anyone else used smoothwall cable for unique applications? I would love to know what other exciting settings have seen FXL smoothwall installation. 


About the Author

Bill Walter

Bill Walter is a corporate communications manager for CommScope, responsible for advancing CommScope’s conversation with the wireless industry. He previously served in corporate communications positions of increasing responsibility with CommScope and Andrew Corporation. Bill has a bachelor's degree from Marquette University and a master's degree from Loyola University Chicago.

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