Alba Ultrasound Receives Queen’s Award for Innovation21/04/2012
|Alba Ultrasound has received a prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation. The company, based in the West of Scotland Science Park, UK, has received the recognition for its innovations in the field of ultrasonic array transducers. These are multiple sensor devices which generate and detect ultrasound: sound energy with a pitch beyond the audible range of the human ear. Alba array products are essential to key manufacturers of ultrasonic imaging systems and can provide clearer image pictures in materials testing, underwater surveying and biomedical diagnosis, for instance.|
The company was formed in 2000 and commenced manufacture with two employees. Under the leadership of its two Directors, Vic Murray (MD) and Gordon Hayward (Chairman) the business has grown to over 40 people, housed within a specialist manufacturing unit with customised R&D and specialist testing facilities. Throughout this period Alba has maintained a very close working relationship with the University of Strathclyde, where much of the early research was performed.
The main market area for Alba Ultrasound is in underwater sonar and since its inception, Alba has created a diverse range of transducer products for underwater applications, spanning mine counter measures, underwater surveying and sea bed mapping, intruder detection security systems and guidance of underwater vehicles. Alba also designed and manufactured the sonar array suite for the UK Royal Navy’s mine hunting fleet. The arrays had to meet an extremely demanding acoustic design specification and they have to function for many years within the harshest of environments. It is testimony to the company and its manufacturing technology that, after several years of exposure, the arrays are still performing to the highest level.
Alba’s products directly benefit the environment by enabling underwater tasks to be carried out more safely and with minimal damage to the affected areas. This is achieved through the provision of much more detailed images in subsea surveying; for more accurate classification of structures such as shipwrecks, harbour installations and pipelines; rapid detection of gas and oil leakages and more accurate mapping of the ocean floor topology. Alba wideband arrays are used also in a diverse range of security applications including protection of harbours, cruise liners, yachts and offshore oil and gas installations. The Company has a worldwide market for its products and the current growth is anticipated to continue apace.
In many instances Alba’s products have been inspired by the natural world, where creatures such as bats and dolphins possess unsurpassed sonar capabilities in air and water respectively. The resultant linkages between mathematics, physics, biology and engineering have been exploited by Alba staff to promote awareness of engineering as a career within schools. This is part of the Scottish Government’s Science and Engineering Action Plan and the Company has been involved actively in a series of vodcasts to be distributed to every primary school in the country.
Supplier: Alba Ultrasound
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