September 29, 2020
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Expectations sky-high for aerospace testing chamber of BIC tenant – Berkshire Eagle

By Tony Dobrowolski, The Berkshire Eagle

PITTSFIELD — A year after opening its facility in Pittsfield, Colorado-based Electro Magnetic Applications has installed an aerospace testing chamber at the Berkshire Innovation Center.

The 3-foot-by-5-foot stainless steel chamber arrived in Pittsfield late last week, according to EMA’s principal scientist, Justin McKennon. The installation process was completed Wednesday.

But, the chamber isn’t quite operational yet. McKennon said vacuum pumps and radiation sources have yet to be installed on the chamber, and that vacuum testing is expected to take place over the next couple of weeks.

“Hopefully, we’ll have commercial programs in here in about a month or so,” he said. “And, we’ll be fully operational in March. That’s our working plan.

“It’s a big stainless steel vessel and it’s got a ton of ports on the back,” McKennon said when asked to describe the chamber. “It looks like you’re trying to brew beer in space; I guess that’s how everybody tries to describe it.”

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Since arriving in Pittsfield last fall, EMA has received more than $200,000 in municipal funding, including a tax break and an additional $25,000 in state tax credits. EMA purchased the chamber for $60,000, McKennon said. But, getting the chamber up and running is expected to put the company’s total investment at about $275,000.

The company has four employees and is hiring a fifth, McKennon said. A sixth will be added when the chamber is up and running in the spring.

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