This past week’s microwave news included a couple of contract awards, one with AR modular RF and the GSA and another between EADS and Northrup Grumman. Agilent provides HiSIM model extraction capability through it’s IC-CAP product, Labtech invests in new technology and Rohde & Schwarz supports students while AVX supports China earthquake victims. Our summary of the news is as follows.

In the contract winning department, news from AR Modular RF announcing the award of a five-year General Services Administration (GSA) contract to supply booster amplifiers for use with tactical military radios came in this week. The GSA schedule contract, which represents AR’s continued momentum as a recognized supplier to the federal government, will make it easier for government agencies to purchase certain AR equipment. Under GSA contract GS-07F-0371U, AR will be providing a variety of its rugged, waterproof, dependable, compact, battle-tested booster amplifiers along with accessories such as power cables and shock-mount kits.

A new disaster monitoring satellite — designed to provide detailed images of any part of the world at times of need — has passed stringent thermal vacuum tests, within the UK’s largest thermal vacuum chamber, at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The UK-DMC-2 satellite, funded and built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL), will join the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) — a network of four satellites already in orbit around the Earth — to provide higher performance imaging capabilities. The satellites currently in orbit allow daily imaging of any given point on the globe and have been successfully providing data and images in support of deforestation, disaster relief and agricultural monitoring.

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected to provide eight Combat Electromagnetic Environment Simulator (CEESIM) systems to support the Electronic Warfare (EW) self-defense ground station, of the EADS A400M transport aircraft. Under the terms of the $28.2 million contract, Northrop Grumman will provide eight CEESIM radio frequency simulators to European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), represented by their business units EADS Defense Electronics (DE) and EADS Military Air Systems (MAS).

In product news, Agilent Technologies Inc. announced the release of the first commercially available HiSIM2.4 Model Extraction Package for DC and RF parameters for advanced complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) device models. The package, for use with Agilent’s Integrated Circuit Characterization and Analysis Program (IC-CAP) software platform, provides an easy-to-use, efficient and customizable method for measuring and extracting accurate DC and RF parameter values for the HiSIM2.4 model.

HiSIM was developed at Hiroshima University, in collaboration with the STARC research center. This model employs the drift-diffusion approximation, correctly modeling the surface potential in the channel. Conventional MOSFET models often use unphysical parameters to smooth characteristics between the different operation modes. Since HiSIM needs only one set of equations, valid over all modes of operation, only physical parameters are necessary. Therefore, HiSIM is not only accurate, but it also reduces the number of parameters needed to model a MOSFET device.

Expanding their services, Labtech Microwave, one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of standard and bespoke microwave component technology, has invested in new machinery at its Presteigne microwave printed circuit board production facility, with the aim of improving processes, efficiency and manufacturing capability. This latest investment consists of a March PCB-1600 plasma treatment system and a Hurco VMX24 machining centre. The PCB-1600 will provide increased capability for producing plated-through-hole Teflon and ceramic substrate PCBs; offer uniform treatments for blind vias, higher aspect ratio holes, and a faster, more reliable removal of residual resin on the PCB surface following laser cutting.The Hurco VMX24 machining centre’s key features include a CAD/CAM interface, which can reduce programming by up to 50 percent.

On the good neighbor front, Rohde & Schwarz celebrated the fifth anniversary of its case study competition with an international twist. For the first time, two teams from Singapore representing the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University joined around 200 students from Germany for the preliminary rounds. The young finalists competing in 15 teams put their knowledge to the test in the final round in Munich.

AVX Corp., a manufacturer of advanced passive components and connectors, has pledged a $140,000 donation to various charities and funds to help disaster recovery, risk reduction and reconstruction activities in the earthquake-affected areas of the Sichuan Province in China. The contributions from AVX and its employees have benefited the Chinese Embassy of Singapore for Sichuan Earthquake Relief, China Red Cross, Sichuan Emergency Relief Fund, Tsinghua Emergency Relief Fund and UNICEF.