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Sep 08. New manufacturing techniques and streamlined product design are enabling Teledyne TSS to deliver new gyro compasses in less than six weeks. High demand combined with the complexity and precision manufacture of TSS and S G Brown gyrocompasses had traditionally required delivery lead times of several months. The company has always recognised that this was a deterrent for many customers who might have preferred to buy a TSS and S G Brown Meridian gyro but were unable to wait so long for delivery. Teledyne TSS therefore undertook a major reappraisal of its manufacturing processes to speed them up. The transformation has been achieved through a combination of factors arising from the application of modern manufacturing techniques. These include the use of improved materials management and just-in-time delivery to ensure that components are available when required but without the accumulation of expensive stock. Changes have also been made to designs of the gyros themselves which have had their electronics upgraded to make manufacture quicker and easier. A new facility also ensures that the testing of gyro compasses is able to match the higher output from the factory floor. Because of these new techniques, productivity has nearly doubled from 30 gyros per month to 53. The company is now confident that potential customers will benefit from knowing that Meridian gyros will be available when they need them.
04 Sep 08. The United States Naval Undersea Warfare Center showed-off its new Integrated Swimmer Defence system (ISD) to an invited group of VIPs and naval personnel on Rhode Island in August. The integrated command and control platform consists of radar, electro-optical deterrent and the new Sentinel sonar system from Sonardyne. It successfully demonstrated the long range detection of swimmers and divers and their subsequent engagement. The first complete system; UOES1, will now be deployed and evaluated by the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command as part of a multi-year development and supply programme. The demonstration capped an intensive period of trials and integration during which Sonardyne worked in close co-operation with NUWC’s Integrated Swimmer Defence project team. In addition to the preparations for the VIP day, the team achieved several notable firsts including the successful operation of a unique multi-head sonar. Two Sentinel sonars were positioned in close proximity operating simultaneously to provide wide area protection against an underwater threat. The exercise demonstrated the Sentinel system’s ability to integrate up to 10 heads with no interference or detrimental effect on performance. The Sentinel system was selected for the Integrated Swimmer Defence program after a long and intensive evaluation period. Its performance and compact physical characteristics make it ideal for both rapid deployment and permanent installations.
04 Sep 08. Vector Fields, a part of Cobham plc, has released practical design tools to help RF designers exploit the properties of metamaterials, as part of its work for the AMULET research project. Metamaterials can provide a means to enhance the performance and size of wireless components — for example, by making antennas multi-functional, and reducing the size and cost of front-end filtering. AMULET (Advanced Materials for Ubiquitous Leading-edge Electromagnetic Technologies) is researching artificial materials and their application in the design and manufacture of next generation broadband, multifunctional, adaptive and conformal antennas for aerospace systems. AMULET is a three-year £3.4m collaborative R&D project that has received a £1.9m investment from the UK’s Technology Strategy Board. Led by Cobham’s ERA Technology, the other consortium partners are the National Physical Laboratory, Queen Mary University of London and Vector Fields. Vector Fields’ role in AMULET is providing ante