T ony Favale did not even want to compete against a big German company for the right to build a key component of the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven National Lab. RI Research Instruments GmbH of Bergisch Gladbach, near Cologne, had built similar components for accelerators elsewhere in the world.
"I figured, how can we beat them?" said Favale, a founder and president of small, Medford-based Advanced Energy Systems. But they did.
Jim Rose, the lead BNL scientist in charge of the components to be built by Advanced Energy Systems, explained that the company has "a good track record" in making accelerator systems and that "they have provided excellent accelerator components" for the lab on other occasions.
Last week, BNL announced Advanced Energy Systems has been awarded a $6.5-million contract -- the largest nonmilitary award in the company's 13-year history.
"I was ecstatic," said Favale, who previously spent 43 years at Grumman and its successor, Northrop Grumman Corp., in Bethpage, before starting Advanced Energy Systems in 1998.
Advanced Energy Systems has hired 19 people over the past year and a half as a result of its current workload -- it now has 43 employees -- and it will add another four as a result of the BNL deal, Favale said.
Over the next two years, Advanced Energy Systems will be building two devices, called radio frequency cavities, in which electric currents oscillate at the frequency of radio waves, the lab said. Favale said the company's devices will be making up the energy the light source naturally loses in its ongoing operations. "If you didn't make up [for the lost energy] the beam would just die out," Favale said. The NSLS-II, a massive X-ray machine, will be the world's brightest syncotron light source and will allow researchers to work with objects as small as one-billionth of a meter in fields such as medicine, environmental sciences, biology and physics.
BNL spokesman Pete Genzer said that since construction started in 2009, more than 50 Long Island companies have helped build NSLS-II.
"We're the prime" contractor, Favale said.
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