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30 Apr 08. Raytheon Company has been awarded a $3.3m contract to overcome thermal challenges in semiconductors designed for next-generation high-power radars and other electronic systems. The award is for the first of a three-phase Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Radio Frequency Thermal Ground Plane program that could be worth $8m if all options are exercised. The full three-phase program is designed to run 45 months beginning now and ending in the fourth quarter of 2011.

30 Apr 08. Lockheed Martin has achieved a major integrated test milestone on the first Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO-1) spacecraft that enables the start of environmental testing in preparation for launch in late 2009. The GEO-1 satellite, designed to provide new missile detection and surveillance capabilities for the nation, has completed a comprehensive Baseline Integrated System Test (BIST) phase which began in early March to characterize the overall performance of the GEO-1 satellite and establish a performance baseline for entering environmental testing.

29 Apr 08. HellermannTyton has extended its range of TIPS (thermal identification printing system) consumables with the launch of a new product – the ADTAG – designed to provide an even wider range of options for customers looking for quick, easy and flexible asset identification. In response to incredible demand for a simple system to allow on-site printing of durable labels, the company’s dedicated research and development team have designed the new ADTAG printable adhesive tag, for the identification of assets such as enclosures, control panel components and cable racks that are not suitable for cable fastenings. Boasting the same product qualities as the TIPTAG, the ADTAG is halogen free, tear resistant and able to withstand temperatures ranging from -40 oC to +90 oC. Available in a choice of white or yellow, the ADTAG is backed by a specially compounded high tack adhesive that produces a permanent heavy gauge label that can also be removed and replaced in line with updated asset information. The adhesive is also halogen free. The ADTAG is an extension of HellermannTyton’s LUL compliant TIPTAG range of printable polyolefin tags, which are attached with cable ties and have been widely used on trackside signalling installations.

01 May 08. Plextek Limited, the Cambridge-based electronics and communications design consultancy has successfully demonstrated an innovative low power, low cost wireless convoy communications prototype to key decision makers at the UK Ministry of Defence. The prototype is the culmination of an 8-month research effort following the £295,000 contract Plextek won in July 2007 – the first in the MoD’s “Competition of Ideas” (CoI) scheme. The robust prototype has been designed to bridge the current gap between electronic technology available to commercial vehicle operators and the technology used by military convoy operators. It enables real time situational awareness including vehicle position data, route planning and vehicle/cargo status and allows military users to evaluate the benefits of low cost, rapid insertion of commercial technologies into their existing vehicle fleets. In developing the prototype Plextek has drawn on the company’s extensive RF networking expertise by using Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology to create a low power, low cost RF based ad-hoc network operation. The system’s inherent low probability of intercept and detection is extremely desirable in the military context. Whilst offering each driver useful navigational and situational data as well as inter-vehicle communications at a very low cost, it also enables headquarters to receive important data on vehicle position and cargo status in real time. Commenting on the demonstration, an MoD spokesman said: “It would be safe to say that the system could offer a step c

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