International Report

New UK Military Communications Satellite Launched
This past February, the UK's SKYNET 4E military communications satellite was delivered into orbit by an Ariane 4 launch vehicle. The satellite is the second SKYNET 4 Stage 2 vehicle to be launched. (The first vehicle, SKYNET 4D, was launched in January 1998.)  The new Matra Marconi Space-built vehicles feature a platform that incorporates repackaged telemetry, tracking and control subsystems, an improved electrical power system and enhanced reaction control. The payload features two 50 W UHF transponders; a new helical, earth cover UHF antenna; steerable, high power, spot SHF transmit and receive antennas; earth cover and steerable European beam antennas; and three 50 W SHF transponders. Within this architecture, 60 to 125 MHz SHF channel bandwidths are used alongside new classified SHF beacon frequencies. A third SKYNET 4 Stage 2 satellite (designated as SKYNET 4F) is currently under construction.

Anglo-German EW Venture Extended
The long-standing electronic warfare (EW) relationship between UK contractor Racal Radar Defence Systems (RRDS) and German aerospace-to-electronics conglomerate DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA) has been extended following the award of a £3.5 M contract covering the supply of RRDS processor and man-machine interface (MMI) components into the DASA FL 1800U subsurface EW system. Mandated for use aboard newly constructed German and Italian U212 class submarines, FL 1800U is a modular, fully automatic electronic support measures and direction-finding (DF) system that utilizes the RRDS processor and MMI hardware together with DASA's USK 800/4 mast-top DF sensor. The sensor is part of the company's USK 800 series modular devices that can be configured to incorporate the necessary components for Global Positioning System reception, 2 to 18 GHz signals intercept, and DF (four or eight channels) and 225 to 400 MHz band communications, as required.

In terms of functionality, the FL 1800U architecture provides intercept, automatic analysis and DF classification and display capabilities for all signals falling within its frequency range. Detected emitters are identified against integral library data and the equipment generates automatic visual and external warnings when the received signal meets system-specific criteria such as lock-on. A snap-shot feature allows analysis to be conducted once the sensor head has been lowered and the system is configured to hand off processed data to the boat's main combat system.

The FL 1800U system builds on the earlier DASA/RRDS FL 1800S surface ship system. Deliveries of the unit are scheduled to begin in August 2000.

German-Swedish Workplace Protection Systems Launched
Germany-based contractor Wandel & Goltermann has teamed with Swedish instrument manufacturer Combinova to launch the FD series electromagnetic field-in-the-workplace measurement systems. Within the family, the models FD1 and FD3 devices operate in the 16 to 2000 Hz range with the FD3 equipment capable of long-duration field strength analysis. In addition, the model FD2 unit is available to cover the 2 to 400 Hz region. All three devices present readings in a graphic format.

Elsewhere within its safety test solutions business, Wandel & Goltermann has also introduced the type 25 probe designed for wideband measurement of high frequency fields generated in radio, television, telecommunications and mobile telephone facilities. Operating in the 300 kHz to 18 GHz frequency range, the new device evaluates all incoming signals according to their frequency-dependent limit values, with loadings shown as a percentage of the limit value. According to the contractor, this approach facilitates the acquisition of standardised measurements in unfamiliar, multifrequency environments and enables safety regulations to be applied on the basis of limit values.

Rohde & Schwarz Launches New Spectrum Analyser Series
Under the generic designation R31X2, German contractor Rohde & Schwarz has launched a new family of spectrum analysers designed for use in production and servicing applications within the telecommunications and consumer electronics sectors. The series comprises the models R3132 and R3162 devices, which cover ranges of up to 3 and 8 GHz, respectively. Both units feature a 16.5 cm colour display and have a noise floor of -113 dB at a 30 Hz resolution bandwidth. (This value increases to -150 dB when an internal pre-amplifier is cut in.) The use of a 20 traces/s refresh rate and 10 ms sweep rate facilitates the observation of changes during alignment in quasi-analogue form. A 100 dB logarithmic range is available for displaying large level differences, and the RF attenuator used features 5 dB step switching to maximise intermodulation-free dynamic response.

Bandwidth, power measurement type and amplitude modulation depth are selected via softkey menus. Keystroke-controlled functions also include expansion of the displayed frequency range around the strongest signal and noise measurement. Both devices are fitted with amplitude/frequency modulation demodulators with a headphones output and four detectors. Standard IEC/IEEE-bus, RS-232 and parallel printer interfaces are provided while an MS-DOS-compatible disc drive allows for the storage of setting parameters and waveforms for integration into a Windows application. A built-in tracking generator and a fast sweep function for investigating signals in the time domain are available as options.

Celsius and Grintek Establish EW Joint Venture
Swedish contractor Celsius is reportedly forming a new joint venture EW company with South Africa's Grintek Group to concentrate on the production and marketing of tri-service warning, threat evaluation and missile countermeasures equipment. Retaining a 51 percent holding in the new Avitronics (Pty.) Ltd., Grintek will be the larger of the two owners.

In terms of EW products, Celsius's existing activities are concentrated in its CelsiusTech Electronics AB subsidiary, which produces the BO series airborne countermeasures dispensing systems and the BO2D series expendable towed radar decoy. For its part, countermeasures activity within the Grintek Group currently resides in the Grintek Avitronics and Grintek System Technologies business units. Grintek Avitronics produces equipment for airborne, land-based and shipboard applications. In the airborne field, its products include an airborne laser warning system, the passive MAW-200 missile approach warner, a multisensor warning system and the RWS-50 radar warner. The company offers a combat vehicle laser warning system for armoured fighting vehicle applications, while its naval activities centre around a shipboard EW control system, the Shrike electronic support measures system and a multirole rocket launcher that can fire both countermeasures payloads and shore bombardment rockets.

Grintek's System Technologies operation specialises in ground-based EW systems and offers a product range that currently includes the high frequency GDF1000 interferometric direction finder; R30A, R1000 and S3000A intercept and monitoring receivers; GSY1400 single-operator communications intelligence system; and mobile GSY1800 communications band EW system. The main thrust of the new company's activities will be directed toward platform protection rather than land-based intelligence gathering.