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02 Feb 05. EADS Astrium, Europe’s leading satellite manufacturer, has completed production and test of the first Inmarsat-4 spacecraft, the world’s most sophisticated commercial communications satellite. The spacecraft will leave the Toulouse facility on 5 February 2005 for shipment to Cape Canaveral. Scheduled for launch on 10 March 2005 aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle from
Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first giant Inmarsat-4 satellite will be positioned in geostationary orbit at 65 degrees East longitude. It will enable Inmarsat to address a wide area covering most of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as the Indian Ocean. A second satellite is planned for launch in summer 2005 to cover South America, most of North America, the Atlantic Ocean and part of the Pacific Ocean. A third satellite is also at an advanced stage of production. All three satellites are identical and interchangeable – their coverage is programmable and can be reconfigured in orbit. These satellites are based on EADS Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 satellite platform, three of which entered commercial service in 2004. All three Inmarsat-4 satellites are equipped with electric propulsion system. Their 45m long solar array generate 14 kW of electrical power at beginning of life and the spacecraft weighs approximately 5,940 kg at launch. The main body is 7 metres high and the unfurlable antenna reflector has a diameter of about 10 metres. EADS Astrium’s facilities in the UK, Germany, Spain and France have contributed to the design and manufacture of the highly innovative spacecraft and provided most advanced technologies.
01 Feb 05. Dell Inc. has unveiled a range of business computers, with some that meet stringent new environmental regulations and others that take steps to prevent network intrusions and theft of intellectual property. At a news conference in New York, Dell unveiled a range of models and services, including desktop PCs that will help Dell meet tough European Union regulations set for 2006 that require reducing lead and other toxic materials in PCs. In addition, Dell is offering new security “locking” features on notebooks that take advantage of an industry push by Intel, IBM (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and other PC makers. Computer files can thus be linked to specific machines to prevent network intrusions or theft of intellectual property.
27 Jan 05. BAE Systems recently received a $6.6m contract from DARPA to design, develop and demonstrate technologies that support the Radio Frequency Guided Munitions (RFGM) program. RFGM is planned as a passive, all-weather, and inexpensive precision Radio Frequency (RF) seeker for use on a number of different weapons. The system will be able to home in and destroy an enemy’s radio communications or jamming device. The RFGM will be able to seek targets operating in a range from 30 megahertz to three gigahertz. During the nine-month Phase 1 effort, BAE Systems’ Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) in Nashua, New Hampshire, will design and develop the Radio Frequency antenna and receiver hardware, and signal processing software to detect, discriminate, and geolocate an RF emitter.
03 Nov 04. A unique technology partnership between Cranfield University and California-based Hayes Diversified Technologies (HDT) has created the world’s first production diesel military motorbike – and the first bike of any kind with a purpose-designed diesel power unit. An initial order for 522 diesel motorcycles has already been placed by the US Marines. Delivery is due to commence in early 2005. In addition, keen interest is being shown by the US Army, the UK Ministry of Defence and other NATO forces. John Crocker worked alongside project leader Dr Stuart McGuigan of the Engineering Systems Department, Cranfield University at Shrivenham, Oxfordshire to design the diesel power unit.The challenge was to come