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Industry News

International Report

January 1, 2000
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International Report

Management Team Acquires Elettronica
Italian contractor Elettronica SpA’s UK subsidiary, Elettronica (UK), has been acquired by its in-country management team and will be renamed Elettronica Systems Ltd. (ESL). As currently envisaged, the new entity will continue to promote and support Elettronica electronic warfare (EW) equipment in the UK and will be active in the areas of independent consultancy as well as research, development and marketing of a family of missile warning system (MWS) test and stimulator sets. The company’s consultancy and research business also will include the development of radar return suppression techniques and radar cross-section prediction tools, electronic support technology demonstration, missile decoy design, emitter location technique development, and EW and radar system modelling. ESL’s family of MWS simulators includes the Baringa UV/IR test set; the MEON multirole, electro-optic (EO) end-to-end test set; the Solent IR jammer test set; and the MEOS/Mallina series medium-range EO stimulators (developed in collaboration with Australian contractor Vision Abell). In addition, ESL’s new innovative technology developments include photonic direct digital synthesis (PDDS) and the use of materials, such as silicon, in a new generation of low cost antennas for radar and EW applications. The PDDS concept is expected to enable low frequency signals to be combined into a single wideband channel and translated into a microwave signal.

Philips Introduces New Family of Multiplexers
Netherlands contractor Philips Semiconductors has introduced the PCA954X series on-chip multiplexers designed specifically to provide reliable and consistent switching for multiple system management buses and integrated integrated circuit (I2C) devices. The PCA954X devices incorporate diodes to facilitate switching between 3.3 and 5 V buses together with bus isolation to prevent system hang-ups. The units are capable of handling same address but different voltage level situations and eliminate the need for glue logic and general-purpose input/output devices. The model PCA9540 device is a two-channel multiplexer with interrupts; the model PCA9542 is equipped with three address pins, a configuration that allows a single bus to use eight of the devices to switch up to 16 I2C devices or buses. The model PCA9544 is a four-channel multiplexer that can be used to switch up to 32 I2C devices or buses when used in a similar configuration. The PCA9542 and PCA9544 devices also include an interrupt controller to prevent system hang-ups.

Alenia Aerospazio Awarded Radarsat Contract
Italian contractor Alenia Aerospazio has been awarded a contract valued at $50 M (US) by MacDonald Dettwiler for the design and manufacture of the satellite platform and radar antenna deployment support structure for the forthcoming Canadian Radarsat 2 space remote sensing programme. MacDonald Dettwiler, the prime contractor for Radarsat 2, selected Alenia’s bid after examining proposals from six competing US and European contractors. Radarsat 2 is expected to carry new-generation C-band remote sensing radar with a ground resolution of three metres, compared to Radarsat 1’s ground resolution of 10 metres. Alenia’s Radarsat vehicle platform will be based on the company’s PRIMA satellite bus design developed for the Italian Space Agency. The satellite bus will be placed in an 800-km low earth orbit for use in ocean monitoring and will be equipped with sophisticated systems for iceberg detection and tracking, natural disaster observation, environmental protection monitoring and military observation. Alenia is expected to complete construction of the Radarsat 2 satellite bus within 16 months and Radarsat 2 is expected to launch during 2002. Alenia, a leading supplier of space systems and hardware, has extensive experience in developing satellite system activities for telecommunications and remote sensing applications.

Siemens to Extend Spanish Telecommunications Network
German contractor Siemens Information and Communications Networks Group has been awarded a contract by Spanish telecommunications provider Retevisi«on M«ovil SA for the third phase of network extension of Amena. Under the terms of the new contract (which builds upon two previous contracts), Siemens will provide an additional 1300 base stations and radio relay equipment to the existing network, which is expected to cover 76 percent of the Spanish population once finished. As a turnkey provider, Siemens will supply all network components and services necessary to complete the network. Such services will include radio network planning, frequency planning, selection and purchasing/leasing of support centres, obtaining necessary public works authorisations, building the required site facilities, and supplying and installing system equipment up to network integration level. The contract, which is valued at Ecu125 M, is scheduled for completion by the end of March. Siemens, a provider of complete GSM systems, has already supplied GSM systems to more than 140 network operators in more than 70 countries. Additional information can be obtained at www.siemen.com/ic/networks/ca.

Royal Air Force Upgrades Radar
On 15 December 1999, the Royal Air Force (RAF), Waddington, Lincolnshire, accepted an E-3D Sentry AEW.1 airborne warning and control system aircraft to upgrade its AN/APY-2 surveillance radar with the Radar System Improvement Programme (RSIP) package. With the RSIP package, the AN/APY-2 will have the capability to detect small radar cross-section targets at extended ranges. Other RSIP modifications include the introduction of a new pulse compressed waveform to improve sensitivity, an improved man-machine interface, new general-purpose adaptive signal processors, enhanced data sampling rates and range/velocity resolution, better countermeasures proofing and enhanced system maintainability and reliability. In all, the RAF will acquire eight RSIP kits -- seven kits are being installed on operational aircraft, the eighth will be used to upgrade an associated Sentry software support rig. The RAF also plans to upgrade and equip the Sentry AEW.1’s ARI.18240 Yellow Gate electronic support system with new Rockwell Collins communications radios and at least three aircraft with an airborne command element facility.

Rohde & Schwarz Launches Mobile Phone Test Platform
German contractor Rohde & Schwarz has launched the CMU200, a new universal test platform for the mobile telecommunications industry. The CMU200 can perform single measurement testing 10-times faster than existing industry test platforms with three-times the current level of accuracy. The baseline system can carry out measurements in accordance with the GSM900, 1800 and 1900 mobile phone standards and is easily extended (via software changes) to accommodate a range of other equipment standards including IS95, IS136 and AMPS. Such flexibility allows the digital signal processor-equipped platform to validate different standard handsets that are produced on a single production line. This capability is strengthened by the system’s ability to accommodate two parallel, yet independent measurement and signaling units that operate within the 10 MHz to 2.7 GHz frequency band. The unit also features an innovative error-correction technique that can detect and correct changes in temperature, output power and frequency. The 14 kg CMU200 can be accommodated in 19-inch racks of only four height units, allowing simple integration into production environments.

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