RPG-Radiometer Physics GmbH (RPG) - Company Profile
RPG manufactures state-of-the-art microwave components and systems operating at cm- mm- and sub-mm frequencies (1.4 GHz to 2 THz) for scientific, commercial and military applications.
RPGs product spectrum is split into five major application fields:
- Test and measurement equipment for mm-wave and THz applications. These products include Vector Network Analyzer, Spectrum Analyzer and Signal Generator Extension Modules that extend the capability of high performance microwave measurement tools to higher frequencies. Optimized Transmit-Receive systems are offered to be used in antenna measurements (anechoic chambers) and imaging. The systems are produced all in-house, from the components RF simulation, design and machining to the system integration, qualification and test. Available frequency bands reach from 50 GHz to 750 GHz
- Remote sensing turn-key systems. RPG manufactures a wide range of instruments for remote sensing of the earth’s atmosphere and ocean / land surface, both ground based and airborne. The wide field of meteorological applications is covered by tropospheric temperature and humidity profilers, water vapor and cloud liquid radiometers, systems for atmospheric attenuation or wet / dry delay measurements (VLBI) and atmospheric Tau measurements (e.g. radio astronomy site characterizations). Another group of instruments offers dual polarization capabilities which are useful in applications like soil moisture or ocean salinity determination and cloud / rain liquid water discrimination. RPG’s spectrum of active instruments include microwave scintillation transmit-receive systems for ground latent heat flux monitoring as well as W-band cloud radars.
- Space products. RPG’s space heritage started in 1995 in building the sub-mm frontends for the Swedish earth orbiting satellite ODIN. Since then, the company has further extended its space systems capabilities in projects like the MLS/UARS Microwave Limb Sounder (JPL/USA), the MHS/FY-3 Microwave Humidity Sounder (CNSA/China), the HIFI/Herschel Space Telescope (ESA), the SMILES/KIBO Superconducting Sub-millimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (JAXA/Japan), or the SAPHIR+MADRAS/ MEGHA-TROPIQUES microwave humidity sounder (CNES/ISRO). RPG is the main contractor in ESA’s Schottky diode space qualification program and participates in the technology development for Europe’s next generation meteorology satellite, the METOP 2nd generation instrument.
- RF components and systems. RPG's products include active components like detectors, mixers, frequency multipliers, RF amplifiers, up- and down converters and pin-switches, as well as passive components like ortho-mode transducers (OMTs), isolators, attenuators, circulators, couplers, waveguide twists, waveguide transitions, power splitters, filters and optical parts (mirrors, wire grids, interferometers, feed horns). Additionally, RPG builds and sells Fast Fourier Transform Spectrometers (FFTS) up to 2.5 GHz bandwidth, developed by the MPIfR (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy) in Germany.
- Customized mm-wave systems. In order to meet special customer needs, RPG offers the flexibility to develop customized solutions in fields as plasma diagnostics, spectroscopy, radio astronomy, imaging and others.
RPG-Radiometer Physics GmbH (RPG) - History
The company was founded as a GmbH in 1991 by Dr. Peter Zimmermann, who previously had worked more than 20 years at the MPI for Radio Astronomy in Bonn / Germany (MPIfR) and also for a couple of years at JPL / NASA on the first Microwave Limb Sounder project. In the beginning, the major activities were focused on developing mixers and local oscillators up to THz frequencies and their integration into complete receiver systems. As the market for microwave high frequency technology increased, RPG’s work force had grown to 15 employees in 1998, so that the company moved into a new and larger building in Meckenheim / Germany. In 2002, Dr. Peter Zimmermann transferred most of the company shares to his sons and to Dr. Thomas Rose, who had joined RPG in 1992. In 2002 Dr. Thomas Rose became one of the new managing directors.
In 2003, RPG successfully entered the remote sensing market of meteorological instruments so that the total number of employees grew up to 30 in 2007.
As a consequence of RPG’s beginning development activities for network and spectrum analyzer extensions for Rohde & Schwarz GmbH (R&S) Analyzers since 2006, R&S bought 25% of the company shares in 2007.
Due to the very fruitful collaboration between RPG and R&S, the development and manufacturing capabilities in the measurement equipment area were significantly boosted. Since 2010 R&S owns 75% of RPG’s shares. In 2014, RPG has grown to over 50 employees.