• About Space Electronics
• Customer Commitment
Dick Boynton founded Space Electronics in 1959 while attending graduate courses
at Yale University . The company existed in Dick's basement and garage in Yalesville, CT. He later
moved the company to a storefront in Meriden , CT.
In the 1960's, Space Electronics designed and built a variety of products
- Flicker Fusion Tester to measure the human eye's response to pulsating light,
- Wire Marker that painted colored bands on telephone wire as it passed through the
- Antenna Drive responsible for aiming a large Yagi antenna used for astronomical
research. The company made at least seven of these, and they were installed at NASA sites around
- Astronomical Position Computer, an analog computer that kept track of the positions
of various planets and the sun. The computer also controlled the antenna drive.
- Spectral Photometer, an optical/mechanical device that was attached to an
astronomical telescope and analyzed the light coming from a single object.
- Radiometer, an electronic device that analyzed the signal received by a radio
- 10,000 Lb Rocket Thrust Stand to measure the various force components produced by
a rocket motor when it was test fired on the ground. A built-in deadweight calibrator was used
to assure its accuracy. The system was installed at Edwards Air Force Base in California .
- 2000 lb Gas Bearing MOI Machine sold to NASA and installed in their facility in
Greenbelt , MD.
- 8000 Lb Gas Bearing MOI Machine sold to a balancing machine manufacturer. They
mounted it on top of one of their static balancers and sold it to their customer as a combination
In the 1970's, Dick moved Space Electronics to office and manufacturing
space in Wallingford , CT. Products designed and built in this location included:
- Unique MOI machine. Dick received a patent for the basic design which suspends the
instrument spindle from the middle of a long torsion rod which is fixed at its ends and held in
tension. Both gas bearing (XKR series) and ball bearing (XR series) models were designed and
built for test parts weighing from 0.001 lb to 250 lb.
- Special high-accuracy gas-bearing MOI for testing a kinetic kill vehicle,
- The first static CG measuring machine: accuracy was 0.0005 inch for a 40 lb part,
- 3000 lb gas bearing MOI machine,
- 8000 lb gas bearing MOI machine,
- 1000 lb spherical gas bearing CG and MOI machine,
- 1000 lb vertical axis rocket thrust stand for a rotating part,
- Early gas bearing CG machines: Several of these were used for balancing gimbaled
- Vibration meters that included frequency analysis,
- Modifications and improvements to a high-level low-frequency sound test facility
installed at Wright Patterson AFB. This was originally intended for Apollo astronaut testing and
was ultimately used for calibrating microphones for airport sound level studies, air bag
deployment studies and pilot efficiency studies.
As the design of the CG and MOI machines evolved, Space Electronics started
incorporating Hewlett Packard calculators and desktop computers into mass properties measurement
systems. These machines gradually became more automatic, and more sophisticated data reduction
was built into the software.
In the 1980's, Dick moved Space Electronics to Meriden , CT. At this
location, the company developed:
- The first 5000 lb spherical gas bearing CG/MOI machine,
- A vertical-axis dynamic balancing machines in 300 lb to 2200 lb sizes,
- An all-mechanical longitudinal CG machine for live Patriot warheads
- A wide range of Gimbal Balance Machines using force rebalance technology many of
which incorporated weight correction software and closed loop control of the test part.
- Many multiple-channel electrical test devices for both explosive and non-explosive
- Portable digital igniter circuit testers. After gaining approval by the US Navy,
the tester was sold to installations throughout the world,
- 13,200 lb capacity gas bearing MOI and CG machine for NASDA, the Japanese space
agency (now called JAXA),
- Measurement stand to test the alignment of mounting shoes on air-to-air missiles,
- Non-contact alignment and measurement stand using laser technology
The company continued to enhance their automated mass properties products by
switching to IBM compatible computers for instrument control and data reduction, and incorporating
force-rebalance transducers into the design.
In 1989, Space Electronics moved to a new 24,000 sq-ft building in
Berlin, CT. At this location, the team at Space Electronics developed a process for measuring MOI
in a helium atmosphere, allowing the operator to extrapolate the true MOI values for a body in
the vacuum of space without having to measure in a vacuum. Advances in standard products continued
with the development of software to run in the Microsoft Windows operating environment.
In the 1990's, Space Electronics designed and built:
- Single and three axis turbine blade moment weighing machines for a wide range of
blade weights and moments.
- Software, techniques, and fixtures to allow POI measurement on an MOI machine.
- Centrifuges with 200 lb capacity and 400 g maximum force
- Spherical gas bearings for space simulation
- New spin balance machines using quartz force transducers for dynamic unbalance
measurement and force rebalance transducers for static measurement. 50 lb, 300 lb, 1000 lb,
3500 lb, 12000 lb machines have been built.
- Horizontal gas bearing spindles for inertial spin decay measurement
- Large L-Fixtures for static CG and MOI measurement of satellites
- Weight and CG tables ranging from 30 lb to 10,000 lb capacity using both strain
gauge and force rebalance transducers.
- Tri-axis gas bearings with 10,000 lb capacity and unlimited rotation about two axes
(third axis rotation was limited to +/- 30 degrees.
- Precision Weight and CG for small parts with 2.5 g-mm accuracy
- New and unique turbine blade adaptors that yield improved repeatability and
simplified blade insertion.
- Developed a new method for measuring CG that significantly increases measurement
speed. A high-speed feature was added to the larger machines of the KSR series mass properties
In the 2000's, Space Electronics designed and built:
- New MOI and CG machines with 22,000 lb payload capacity.
- Scripting software that enable engineers to define automated sequences for the
operators to follow in order to measure various test objects.
- High-speed KSR: these new mass properties instruments reduce the measurement time
We increased our level of service to provide our clients with unlimited solutions. Services
include maintenance, consulting, seminars, measurement services, machine rentals, machine
relocations, certification, and calibration.