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Industry News

International Report

July 1, 1999
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International Report

MobiChip to Support German WAYflow Integrated Transport Project

Netherlands contractor Philips Semiconductors is developing a secure smart card IC, which will form part of the German Ministry of Education and Research's WAYflow programme. Designed to develop integrated solutions for current ann future transport needs in the state of Hessen, the WAYflow project involves a range of participants, including the Rhine-Main Verkehrsverbund (the Rhine-Main Public Transport Association), Philips Semiconductors, the state of Hessen's Regional Road and Transport Office, the city of Frankfurt, Deutsche Bahn AG/DB Regio (the German rail system), Frankurt Airport Authority, Opel, DaimlerChrysler and the Franhofer Institute. Within this architecture, the new chip (known as the MobiChip device) is based on Philips' proprietary Mifare interface technology and is intended to act as a contactless open platform that will be suitable for a range of WAYflow applications, including electronic ticketing, financial transactions (e-purse), loyalty programmes and information accessing.

Oman Buys Anglo-Italian Radars

The Omani Royal Air Force is procuring an as yet undisclosed number of Alenia Marconi Systems D-band (1 to 2 GHz) S743D Martello long-range surveillance radars for use in its national integrated air defence system. Oman already operates Alenia Marconi's D-band S713 Martello mobile surveillance radar and the current multimillion-dollar award includes the provision of associated control and reporting centres. Other identified S743D customers include Greece, Malaysia, Spain (in the form of the S763 LANZA equipment) and Thailand.

UK Submarine CESM Programme Detailed

Three contractors (DML Davenport, Sanders and Racal Defence Electronics) are competing to supply the UK's Royal Navy (RN) with a new communications band electronic support measures (CESM) system for use aboard Astute- and Trafalgar-class submarines. A fourth potential competitor (Raytheon Systems) may have withdrawn from the process. The CESM programme is worth between £50 and £100 M and involves the procurement of 10 systems. Of these systems, four will be installed aboard Trafalgar-class boats, four aboard Astute-class submarines and two ashore to act as a system trainer and reference. Additionally, the procurement is believed to include an option for two further systems for use on as yet unidentified platforms.

Of the identified contractors understood to have expressed interest in the CESM programme, Raytheon has already supplied the RN with two examples of its Cluster Sentinel carry-on ESM system. The Racal submission may make use of a commercial off-the-shelf inboard fit. The Sanders proposal centres on a derivative of its surface-ship COBLU/Outboard equipment that utilises a South West Research antenna array and has a dedicated, single-operator console. A contract award for the new system is expected in September or October.

Matra Refocuses Business Sectors

France's Matra Hautes Technologies has decided to merge its defence equipment and systems and systems and information operations into a new entity to be known as Matra Systems & Information. Billed as a European leader in image acquisition and processing, the new company is also described as enhancing Matra's activities in the commercial domain where the merger is seen as offering a beefed-up export capability together with strengthened research and development, system integration and production capabilities. Lagardere (Matra Systems & Information's parent organisation) also expects the new entity to play a major role in the evolving Aerospatiale Matra tie-up.

NATO Opts for Twin-track AGS Study Programme

Following a late May NATO Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD), the Alliance has decided to pursue a twin-track approach to solving its outstanding Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) requirement. AGS looks towards the provision of an airborne radar surveillance capability that would be operated and funded by a consortium of Alliance member states. Track one will see the US, Canada, Denmark and Norway undertake a two-year project definition study into an AGS system based on the Northrop-Grumman/Raytheon Radar Technology Insert Programme (RTIP) that is being developed to upgrade the AN/APY-3 radars aboard US Air Force E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft. An RTIP-based radar is also the primary sensor on Northrop-Grumman's Wizard submission in the UK's Airborne Stand-off Radar (ASTOR) competition. As an alternative to an RTIP-based AGS solution, track two involves France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands cooperating on a proposed Stand-off Surveillance Target Acquisition Radar (SOSTAR) that is thought to use the French Horizon and Italian CRESO efforts as a starting point. Consideration of the UK's ASTOR system as a potential AGS solution did not take place due to the non-announcement of a competition winner. Here, the already noted Wizard proposal is in competition with designs from consortia headed by Lockheed Martin UK Government Systems Ltd. and Raytheon Systems Ltd.

RDE Uses ADAS Radar as Basis for FOPEN and Target Identification Research

UK-based Racal Defence Electronics (RDE) is using its Airborne Data Acquisition System (ADAS) as the basis for an ongoing programme of research into radar foliage penetration (FOPEN) and target identification techniques. Developed as a flexible research tool, ADAS is an airborne version of the company's van-mounted Mobile Instrumented Data Acquisition System (MIDAS) multimode, multiband, polarimetric instrumented radar that is installed in a Squirrel helicopter.

In terms of its use in the FOPEN role, a configuration with a bandwidth of 150 to 600 MHz (2.25 GHz at I-band) and log periodic antennas has demonstrated an initial resolution of 0.3 m at a range of 800 m against targets buried in foliage clutter. Elsewhere, the system has demonstrated a 7 ¥ 7 cm resolution in spotlight synthetic aperture mode during ground target identification trials. For this effort, the equipment made use of a 2 GHz bandwidth and covered 40º sectors in azimuth with elevation coverage of 0º to 30º. Target lock-on was achieved using video camera search.

In published baseline form, ADAS operates at F- (3.15 GHz), I- (9 to 11.25 and 9.75 GHz), J- (15.75 GHz), K- (35 GHz) and M-bands (94 GHz) and features vertical and horizontal linear polarisation. The system is band and polarisation agile on a pulse-by-pulse basis and features simultaneous co- and cross-polar channel reception. Pulse repetition frequency and bandwidth are variable in the 1 to 40 kHz and 100 to 500 MHz (2.25 GHz at I-band) ranges, respectively. Data-gathering modes comprise high range resolution (2.1 m using linear chirp modulation over 100 MHz bandwidth, 256 or 1024 contiguous 1.5 m range cells), super high resolution (0.36 m using DPDPS linear chirp modulation over 500 MHz bandwidth, 256 to 4096 contiguous 0.3 m range cells) and ultra-high resolution (0.1 m using DPDPS linear chirp modulation over 2.25 GHz bandwidth (8 ¥ 500 MHz, 50 percent overlap), 256 to 4096 contiguous range cells). 

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