The L-3 Electron Technology, Inc. (ETI) facility, located in Torrance, CA, was specifically designed and constructed in 1967 for the design, development, manufacture, integration and test of vacuum electronic and related products. Our team of ~650 employees has an education profile that includes ~70 Associate, ~170 Bachelor, ~65 Master and ~20 Doctorate degrees and a successful track record of providing high performance/high reliability products to Space and Defense customers. Our facility is equipped with modern tools that support design thru volume production and our quality management system is certified to AS9100.
Design & Development
ETI utilizes a combination of internally developed, government furnished (US Navy, Naval Research Laboratory) and commercially available software tools in conjunction with state-of-the-art distributed computing Linux clusters to model and simulate product designs. By leveraging these sophisticated tools our talented design and development staff can explore innovations and validate product designs or design features prior to committing to the expense of hardware build. The results are impressive--- “first-pass” design success is common and multiple “best-in-class” products are in production.
A simulation created from a combination of our advanced software and program codes allows L‐3 ETI engineers to follow the path of a single electron (from the hundreds of millions of electrons generated every nanosecond) as it travels from the cathode through the helix to the collector. Click here to view simulation. (actual travel time of electron 13 nanoseconds)
through a TWT
Manufacturing & RF Test
ETI is vertically integrated and nearly 100% of the manufacturing and test processes associated with development and volume production of our products are performed internally. This includes in-house fabrication of space TWT and ground/airborne millimeter-wave cathodes in order to control quality and assure reliability of the most critical life determining element of TWTs. External partners are utilized selectively for services such as electronic sub-assembly build-to-print and specialized testing. ETI has benefited from substantial capital investment to re-tool our factory after being acquired by L-3 Communications in 2005. These investments increased production capacity and precision (tolerances & repeatability) and improved yields. The following photographs are just a few representative examples of our in-house capability and modern equipment.
Space TWT Cathode Lab
Over $5M invested to insure control of quality, reliability and lifetime.
Hetherington Vacuum Braze Furnace
A variety of furnaces are used for wet and dry, vacuum and non-vacuum brazing of ceramic and metal assemblies.
TWT Vacuum Exhaust “Bake-out” Lab
Multi-port computer driven bake-out ovens support volume production.
Hi-Rel Electronic Assembly Lab
Greater than 8,600 sq. ft is dedicated to assembly of space qualified high voltage Electronic Power Conditioners (EPCs) and XIPS Power Processing Units (PPUs)
Space TWTA Test Lab
One of four automated test stations bays recently configured to support volume production
ETI maintains an extensive in-house environmental test capability that supports new product qualification as well as acceptance testing of production deliverables. In-house capability includes thermal-vacuum & cycle, vibration, RF leakage and EMI testing. Pyro-shock and other specialized environmental test services are available from local external providers.
Fully Automated Thermal Vacuum
One of several new thermal vacuum chambers contributing to increased production capacity.
Space TWTA Thermal Vacuum Test
Over 30 thermal vacuum chambers are dedicated to production and customer acceptance testing.
XIPS Production Test Facility
One of three 9’ x 15’ 300,000 L/s xenon pumping speed thermal vacuum chambers dedicated to XIPS production testing
XIPS Space Qualification Test Facility
A 9000 sq.ft. lab is dedicated to space qualification of XIPS subsystems and includes a 20’ x 40’ 1,000,000 L/s xenon pumping speed thermal vacuum chamber.
Material Analysis & Inspection
ETI maintains an extensive in-house material analysis and inspection capability. Highly specialized equipment is used to inspect purchased raw material and parts for contaminants and prohibited content, monitor integrity of in-house manufacturing processes, and contribute to failure analysis investigations. Capability includes X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), Real-Time X-ray, Film X-ray, Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (SEM/EDX), Electron Scattering Chemical Analysis (ESCA), Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA), Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) plus others.
X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) work station
Real-Time X-ray work station
Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (SEM/EDX) work station
Electron Spectroscopy Chemical Analysis (ESCA) work station