MANAGEMENT ON THE MOVE
Apr 09. Plextek has recently invested in a new clean room, which has been fully equipped to undertake RF On-Wafer (RFOW) test to 50GHz. Having designed over 40 different ICs for a wide range of clients and applications, Plextek is one of the world’s leading full custom GaAs IC design houses. This new RFOW capability is a valuable addition to the services Plextek is able to offer clients for the future. The construction of the test facility includes a Cascade wafer probe station and a 50GHz Agilent PNA vector network analyser. The equipment allows accurate on-wafer characterisation of circuits and devices from 10MHz to 50GHz. Two large flat screen monitors are used to display an image of the circuit under test and its measured performance side by side. Liam Devlin, Director of RF Integration at Plextek commented, “The test area is now fully commissioned and in use to perform on-wafer analyses of circuit blocks that we’re developing. Using this new capability we’ve been able to increase the effectiveness of Plextek’s custom IC design and development team.”
30 Apr 09. Work is progressing well in the provision of a new Ground-Based Training Environment at RAF Valley, North Wales, in support of the Hawk T2 Fast Jet Trainer. VT Support Services (VTSS) have been contracted by Ascent, the joint venture between Lockheed Martin UK and VT Group, to deliver the project. The £30m project is part of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS), which will revamp training for military air crew over the next 25 years. Ascent is working as the Training Systems Partner of the Ministry of Defence to deliver the programme. The improvements at RAF Valley will see a new hangar and training suite built by late 2010. Training infrastructure, including teaching classrooms and simulators, will be supplemented by facilities to house the Hawk T2 trainers, the first of which were delivered late last year. The new trainers will prepare fast jet aircrew for flying front-line aircraft with a modern cockpit environment of digital displays sophisticated navigation and advanced avionics.
01 May 09. A brand new £14m training area officially opened yesterday at Stanford Training Area (STANTA) in Norfolk that will provide all troops deploying to Afghanistan with the most advanced and relevant training facilities in the UK. The facilities consist of a Rural Middle Eastern Village and an Urban Middle Eastern Complex which were designed by the Operational Training Advisory Group (OPTAG) to replicate as closely as possible the situations which troops could face on operations in Afghanistan and South Asia. With the help of Afghan nationals and others who take on the role of insurgents in these training areas, OPTAG will be able to replicate the sights, sounds and smells of the South Asia. From the call to prayer heard across a busy market place, a bustling family home, to a network of claustrophobic alleyways with high walls the areas provide for a complex and realistic way to train troops and test their skills under demanding conditions. Developed in eight months the first units to benefit from these new facilities will be 11 Brigade as they start their final training next month prior to deployment to Afghanistan in the Autumn. General Sir David Richards, Commander in Chief Land Forces said: “These new training facilities mean that we will be giving our soldiers the very best chance to succeed in today’s complex operations and return home safely. “We need to provide as realistic an environment as we can for our excellent fighting soldiers. They need to operate from the same type of place that they will use in Afghanistan and be put to the test in as realistic a manner as we can devise. They deserve nothing less. “The project team has succeeded in a very short time frame in doing just that and I am proud that we can now offer today’s Armed Forces the facilities they deserve to best equip them for the job we ask