Microwave Journal

Company Profile: Microwave Development Laboratories

July 15, 2008

Present at the Dawn of the Microwave Age

Microwave Development Laboratories has been at the forefront of the microwave industry for sixty years, ever since its inception in the years immediately following World War II. The company, started in 1948 by Dr. Henry Riblet, a former mathematics professor and MIT Radiation Lab veteran, quickly became the largest independent producer of waveguide and subassemblies in the industry.

Dr. Riblet’s life work with MDL resulted in many patents on mechanical and electrical devices and many contributions to the theory and application of microwave circuitry. None of his contributions proved more enduring than the short-slot coupler, known throughout the industry as the Riblet Coupler. The Riblet Coupler proved to be a foundational component for the microwave industry and is still found in microwave systems today.

Throughout its history MDL has led the industry with imaginative and innovative microwave solutions. In the 1950s MDL was among one of the first companies to design rotary joints. For NASA’s Apollo moon program in the 1960s MDL designed a thin wall monopulse comparator for the Lunar Excursion Module, the lander portion of the Apollo spacecraft. In the 1970s MDL developed waveguide feed and monopulse networks for the F-14 and F-15 fighter aircraft. In the 1980s the company introduced internally milled technology to reduce the size and weight and improve the performance of MDL components used in the radar systems on the F-18 and B-2 aircraft.

Quality from CAD to Crate

Today MDL’s product lines include waveguide assemblies used on unmanned vehicles such as the Predator and Global Hawk, the Patriot system and Phalanx close-in weapon systems. All are engineered and manufactured at MDL’s state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facility, which includes in-house NC machining, Dip Brazing and Finishing, and where all products undergo 100% functional performance verification and R.F. testing using the latest network analyzers.

Custom work is MDL’s stock in trade. MDL engineers, highly experienced in the very latest SolidWorks, Ansoft HFSS, and proprietary software, quickly turn customer design challenges into real solutions. Using Ansoft HFSS, MDL engineers compute s-parameters and full wave fields. Designs are modeled mechanically on SolidWorks and then exported directly to the NC machine.

As the microwave industry continues to grow and the demand for higher frequencies and smaller, more precise waveguide products accelerates, MDL will remain a trusted supplier known for its exceptional service, high reliability and leading edge solutions.

Major Products

Custom waveguide assemblies, monopulse comparators, rotary joints, microwave filters, rotary switches, waveguide to coax adapters, waveguide pressure windows, cast bends and twists, waveguide and flanges.

Contact Information

Microwave Development Laboratories
135 Crescent Road
Needham Heights, MA 02494
Phone: 781-292-6680/6684 • Fax: 781-453-8629
mdlsales@mdllab.com
www.mdllab.com