INTELSAT to Procure Telecommunications Satellite
The International Telecommunications Satellite (INTELSAT) organisation has awarded a contract to Franco-British contractor Matra Marconi Space to build the INTELSAT NI-Alpha telecommunications satellite. Considered the largest and most powerful satellite ever procured by INTELSAT, the NI-Alpha will employ Matra Marconi’s high powered version of Eurostar 3000 to provide operators with a high number of transponders. The NI-Alpha will be outfitted with 36 C-band (4 to 8 GHz) transponders to cover North, Central and South America as well as western Europe, and 20 Ku-band (12 to 18 GHz) transponders to provide coverage in Latin America. Compatible with a range of launch vehicles, including the Ariane, Proton and Sea Launch rockets, the satellite will be located in the West Atlantic Ocean region at 310 degrees east longitude with a launch mass of 5000 kg and output on the order of 8 kW. Once in orbit, the spacecraft is expected to have a service life of 13 years. The NI-Alpha currently is scheduled to launch during the summer of 2002. INTELSAT currently owns and operates a global communications satellite system that provides capacity for voice, video, corporate/private networks and the Internet in more than 200 countries and territories.
Racal Introduces Surveillance EW Systems
UK contractor Racal Defence Electronics has unveiled a new range of land-based electronic warfare (EW) systems. Designated under the generic name of Seeker, two models have been identified: Seeker 4 and 5. Seeker 4 is a 20 to 1000 MHz regulatory, direction-finding (DF) surveillance and monitoring system that comprises Racal’s RA3726 dual-receiver, a PC and examples of the company’s AE3007 (3 to 30 MHz band) and AE3020 (30 to 1000 MHz) Adcock DF antennas. Designed specifically for installation in wheeled vehicles, shelters and fixed sites, the system utilizes digital signal processing techniques with the capability to demodulate amplitude- and frequency modulated, frequency-shift keyed, continuous wave, and upper and lower sideband signals. Seeker 5, which is derived from equipment supplied to the British Army and Royal Marines, covers the 20 to 1000 MHz frequency band and offers search, DF, intercept and signals analysis capabilities. System control of Seeker 5 is by means of a ruggedised computer (running a Windows® NT operating system). Seeker 5 can be deployed in a number of operational configurations; for example, comprising a DF baseline of four sensors under the overall control of a vehicle-mounted command centre.
Rohde & Schwarz Launches EMC Test Antenna
German contractor Rohde & Schwarz has launched the Ultralog HL 562, a universal electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test antenna for interference field strength and susceptibility measurements. Operating over the 30 to 3000 MHz frequency band, the HL 562 incorporates biconical dipole and directional log-periodic elements. A V configuration of radiators is employed to optimise antenna gain and provide rotationally symmetrical and congruent directional patterns in the E- and H-planes at frequencies above 200 MHz. To minimise measurement ambiguities, the unit has been designed to meet a polarisation isolation value of at least 20 dB. The HL 562, which measures approximately 0.60 m x 1.65 m x 1.68 m, features a single-piece log-periodic array in order to maximise mechanical stability and is calibrated prior to delivery using the three-antenna technique combined with tolerance analysis. Individual calibration records are supplied with each antenna for transfer to the test system. For additional information on Rohde & Schwarz products, visit www.rsd.de.
Next-generation UAV Concept Study Initiated
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has issued an invitation to tender to several companies regarding a concept study contract that relates to the British Army’s next-generation Sender unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The Sender UAV is primarily intended to perform a tactical surveillance role and will be equipped with a range of payloads that are likely to include both electro-optic and synthetic aperture/moving target radar (SAR/MTI) sensors. (Other possibilities include EW and/or communications relay equipment.) Potential companies that may show interest in the UAV include UK contractors BAe Systems and Racal Defence Electronics, Israel’s Elta Electronics and US contractor Northrop Grumman. Of these, BAe Systems’ contenders may leverage technology from the SAR capability that the company has developed for its Sea Spray 7000 maritime surveillance radar while Elta is likely to offer technology based on its EL/M-2055 UAV and EL/M-2060 podded fast-jet SARs. Racal is expected to offer a system based on its podded fast-jet SAR/MTI demonstrator or the lightweight, low volume modular radar developed by its Wells, Somerset plant. Northrop Grumman’s bid is likely to be based on a lightweight variant of its TESAR sensor that was launched in the UK in September 1999. As of press time, the Sender concept study contract is scheduled to be released by this month with a service entry data for the system expected around 2008.
Siemens Awarded Telecommunications Intelligent Network Contracts
German contractor Siemens Information and Communications Networks (SICN) has been awarded two contracts for the supply of telecommunications intelligent network services (INS) in the Middle East and Asia. In the Middle East, Jordanian carrier Fastlink has announced plans to acquire an INS pre-pay add on for its existing mobile telecommunications network based on Siemens INXpress INS platform. The contract builds upon an earlier Siemens contract with Fastlink that covered the supply of switching technology. In Asia, SICN has been awarded a contract by Chinese mobile telecommunications provider Unicom to expand its existing pre-pay INS. Unicom’s pre-pay service will be expanded from the original base of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen to an additional 17 provinces within the People’s Republic of China. The Unicom INS expansion also is based on Siemens INXpress INS platform. The contract, which was launched in 1999, is valued at Euro 55 M. 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.
Philips Develops Embedded Flash Memory for CMOS Technology
Netherlands contractor Philips Semiconductors has developed the CMOS18 Flash memory module, a two-transistor cell for use in its 0.18-µm complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. Forming part of the company’s Nexperia™ silicon system platforms strategy for creating complete products on a single chip, the new memory module allows memory size to be tailored to suit a particular application rather than available off-the-shelf capacities. This optimised two-transistor approach has been achieved without major increases in module size. The new cell has an overall size of 0.78 µm2 compared to a typical single transistor cell’s size of 0.50 µm2 . The two-transistor approach requires considerably less peripheral circuitry for programming and erasure. By way of example, the CMOS18 design utilizes Fowler-Nordheim tunneling for memory cell programming and erasure, thereby eliminating the large charge pump needed in a single transistor module hot-channel electron programming technique. Other device features include memory control and testing circuitry design, which help to achieve silicon area parity with single transistor devices together with separated memory and selection functions.