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28 Aug 08. The two Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) demonstration satellites being built by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corporation for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have successfully completed acoustic testing. The two space vehicles were tested in their launch configuration, simulating the planned tandem launch on a Delta II launch vehicle. The satellites were subjected to the maximum sound and vibration levels expected during their launch into orbit. The testing was performed at Northrop Grumman’s acoustic test facility in Redondo Beach, Calif.

02 Sep 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation has set new industry records in all aspects of high-power solid-state laser production, demonstrating the readiness of these compact, portable, speed-of-light weapons to take their place onthe battlefield. The company demonstrated the third critical milestone for the U.S. military’s Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, Phase 3. Operating from Northrop Grumman’s one-of-a-kind laser factory, the system:
— Raised its demonstrated lethality by precisely combining two laser chains to produce record power — 30 kW — in an excellent beam-beam quality of 2.1 times the theoretical limit
— Operated at this performance level for more than five minutes continuously and more than 40 minutes total; and
— Achieved electrical-to-optical efficiency of greater than 19 percent.

09 Jul 08. Algotronix Ltd., Edinburgh, UK has launched a novel concept in tagging. It is well suited to secure systems used in military applications because it can help to identify counterfeit semiconductors, stolen IP and help to trace ‘traitor’ sources of cloned designs. DesignTagTM is an IP core that can be included into an FPGA design or ASIC. It allows ownership of the design to be positively established and helps in the fight against design piracy. DesignTag is coded with a customer-specific ‘signature’ that can be identified externally from a working device without needing to access inside the chip or decapsulate it. It is non-intrusive because it uses thermal signalling and the code can be sensed by a thermocouple applied to the chip package. The code is decrypted and ownership details are then simply extracted from the database. Algotronix has leveraged its skill base in crypto products to create a secure method of ‘watermarking’ designs.

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