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Industry News

International Report

September 1, 2000
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Martin Streetly, International Correspondent


Russians Launch Georadar Family


R ussia's V Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design, Zhukovsky, Russia, and its limited company LogiS, Zhukovsky, Russia, have come together to develop a range of earth and water probing radars that operate in the 25 to 1200 MHz frequency band. Designated as Georadars, the new equipments comprise a family of aerial assemblies (incorporating the radar's transceiver, transmit/receive array and data processor), an integral 12 V battery, adjustable deployment frames and a processing, control and indicator unit (normally a Newton- or Libretto-type notebook computer). Functionally, Georadars are designed for the surveillance of pipelines, karst voids and water erosion in road and rail beds and archaeological sites together with police and paramilitary applications such as the detection of hidden contraband or stolen property. Georadars can be connected to any PC-compatible computer (using an RS-232 interface) to facilitate additional data processing and the creation of databases. At press time, three subvariants of the consortium's Georadar technology had been identified.

Ince to Replace UK Beady Eye and Pinemartin


T he UK's Defence Procurement Agency has issued an invitation to tender (ITT) in respect to an interim radar electronic support capability with which to bridge the gap between the British Army's current 1 to 18 GHz band Beady Eye and Pinemartin systems and the next-generation Soothsayer architecture (formerly the service's Electronic Warfare 2000 programme). Currently, Soothsayer is scheduled to enter service during 2006. Designated as the Land Electronic Warfare Mid-Life Improvement effort (Project Ince), the new programme looks to replace six Beady Eye and Pinemartin equipments with a vehicle-mounted, out-of-area capability that will meet both national intelligence gathering and NATO Joint Rapid Reaction Force requirements. The Ince ITT anticipates the use of commercial off-the-shelf products and is scheduled to lead to a contract award (subject to the receipt of suitable bids) in October. 'International Report' believes that the Ince ITT has been issued to Alenia Marconi Systems, Lockheed Martin Federal Systems (Canada), Raytheon and Thomson Racal Defence. The down selected contractor will be responsible for all programme subcontracting (including the supply of vehicles and system integration therein) and at press time, the Ince system was scheduled to enter service with the British Army's 14 Signals Regiment during October 2001. Looking further ahead, both Lockheed Martin UK Government Systems and Thomson Racal Defence have been awarded Soothsayer risk assessment contracts.

R&S Launch ZVM Network Analyser


G erman contractor Rohde & Schwarz is aiming its new ZVM vector network analyser at the development and production market for third-generation mobile radio units and systems. Operating in the 10 MHz to 20 GHz frequency band, ZVM is claimed to have a dynamic range greater than 115 dB together with a measurement speed of less than 500 µs per point. The equipment uses Windows NT as its operating system and is noted as being able to both measure scattering parameters across its complete frequency coverage and characterise frequency converting devices such as generators and mixer and receive modules. Other applications include characterisation of surface acoustic wave filters and filter multicouplers used in mobile telephones and base stations, respectively. Physically, ZVM comprises a generator, a test set and a receiver, and incorporates four direct access receive channels. With the integration of an external preamplifier, the architecture can be used to perform measurements on high power amplifiers. For fast calibration, ZVM features both seven- and 15-term calibration techniques and, at press time, the architecture had a unit price that started at ¤ 60,000.

Phillips ICs Selected for Korean and German e-purse Systems


I ntegrated circuits (IC) developed by Netherlands contractor Philips Semiconductors have been selected for use in Korean and German e-purse applications. In the first instance, Philips' MIFARE® PRO dual interface IC is being used in the Korea Electronic Banking Technology Co.'s Digital Pusan Card (DPS). Scheduled for launch on 1 September, the DPS combines credit, debit and prepaid functions (with digital signature) and is designed for use in a broad range of transport payment (including buses, taxis, the subway system, tollgates and car parks), retail, e-commerce, ticket reservation and municipal service payment applications within the Pusan metropolitan area. The initial programme roll-out envisages the distribution of one million DPS cards that will provide users with access to some 300,000 readers, 20,000 point-of-sale terminals, approximately 40,000 automatic vending machines and some 100 municipal services kiosks.

In the German context, Philips' P8WE6017 IC has been certified by the country's Zentraler Kreditausschuss (ZKA ­ Central Credit Committee) for use in the GeldKarte Type 1 e-purse that is to be introduced in October. Aside from the noted Philips' IC, the GeldKarte Type 1 features an operating system that has been developed by Gemplus and is based on a secure IC interface specification developed by the ZKA. GeldKarte Type 1 is Euro compatible, and a European Union cross-border Euro e-purse pilot project has already been launched

Beacon Illuminates New Ultra Wideband Synthesiser


T he UK Ministry of Defence's Beacon funding scheme is being used to support a two-year joint venture between the UK's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency and national contractor Elettronica Systems Ltd. (ESL) that aims to develop an ultra-wideband, arbitrary waveform synthesiser that will be suitable for a range of applications. ESL claims that the programme will provide a generic technology for future systems and will generate equipment with a bandwidth that will be in excess of 20 times greater than those of current-generation direct digital synthesisers. Specific military advantages claimed for the technology include common radar, communications and electronic warfare functionality, enhanced target detection and recognition capabilities, enhanced immunity against jamming, and counter stealth and signal intelligence capabilities.

HIDAS Starts WAH-64 Test Programme


T he BAE Systems' Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids System (HIDAS) has begun its flight test programme aboard a WAH-64 Apache battlefield attack helicopter at the Boeing facility in Mesa, AZ. Launched on the back of a November 1997 development and production contract, the WAH-64 HIDAS application comprises the BAE Systems' E- through J-band (2 to 20 GHz with 0.5 to 2 GHz and 20 to 40 GHz options) Sky Guardian 2000 radar warning receiver (RWR), the same company's series 1223 laser warning receiver, the Sanders' AN/AAR-57 missile warning receiver and the night vision goggle-compatible Vinten Vicon 78 series 455 countermeasures dispensing system. Subsystem integration is achieved via defensive aids system control and management software hosted by the Sky Guardian 2000 RWR's processor. System functions include manual, semi-automatic and automatic operating modes, and the radar, laser and missile warners are reported to have successfully handed off threat data to the WAH-64's multifunctional displays during the system's first flight from Mesa. HIDAS has been bid to the Republic of Singapore Air Force as well. *

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