At the 2011 IEEE EMC Symposium are husbacd and wife, Joe and Virginia Fischer. They have been in business together since 1971. See photo feature
Farstad Signs 5-year Contract with Harris
Harris CapRock Communications has been chosen by Farstad Shipping to deliver turnkey Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) communications to its fleet of 53 vessels. Farstad Shipping is an international supplier of modern offshore supply vessels that operate in the North Sea, Brazil, Australia and Indian Pacific regions.
“Harris CapRock’s SeaAccess service enables us to extend our corporate applications to the vessels and provide critical maintenance, operations and administrative services. As a result, the vessels operate more efficiently and in turn it reduces our operational costs,” said Helge Warholm, corporate purchasing manager, Farstad Shipping.
Harris CapRock will deploy end-to-end VSAT communications via a Time Division Multiple Access network to enable corporate networking, Internet access, crew calling and email service. The turnkey solution includes equipment and installation, service support from Harris CapRock’s help desk.
Kratos Wins 2011 Deal of the Year Award
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider, has received a 2011 Deal of the Year award at the M&A Advisor 6th Annual Middle-Market Financing Awards Gala held on May 16 in Chicago, IL. The event was hosted by FOX Business Network reporter, Jeff Flock.
Kratos was awarded the 2011 Acquisition Financing Deal of the Year in the Industrial Manufacturing/Distribution Sector, specifically for the acquisition of Gichner Holdings Inc. Gichner, which Kratos acquired in 2010, is a leading designer, engineer, manufacturer, and integrator of specialized products, solutions, support equipment, subsystems, modular containers and shelters for the U.S. military, its allies, and leading defense contractors. Gichner’s products include high altitude electromagnetic pulse protection and RFI shielding and other specialized protective technology.
Gichner products are also a key element of U.S. military strategy to transition to a more expeditionary and asymmetric warfare capable force.
Tektronix Acquires Optametra, LLC
Tektronix, Inc. of Beaverton, Oregon, a leading supplier of test, measurement, and monitoring products and solutions, has aquired Optametra, LLC.
Founded in 2007, Optametra is focused on coherent test for 100G and beyond. Optametra launched its 40G Coherent Lightwave Signal Analyzer in March 2009 and followed up with a 100G the same year. The company is a pioneer in coherent test, and offers products and customer support in the R&D and manufacturing spaces. The Optametra Signal Analysis Suite offers the most relevant information display, most relevant modulation formats, and widest linewidth tolerance.
“The emergence of coherent optical standards is creating a technology shift in the communications market and new testing challenges are emerging,” said Amir Aghdaei, president of Tektronix. “Combining Optametra with our next generation of performance oscilloscopes enables us to address this market with a robust solution for our customers.”
D.L.S. Receives UL Safety Testing Approval
Underwriters Laboratories has officially accepted D.L.S. Conformity Assessment Inc., a subsidiary of D.L.S. Electronic Systems Inc., into their Third Party Test Data Program. This program allows D.L.S. to test directly to UL standards for ITE, audio/video, medical devices and equipment, and laboratory test and measurement equipment for formal listing.
Manufacturers will be able to complete their EMC, safety and environmental testing requirements all under one roof, saving them time and allowing them to speed their product to market. This program provides for a formal UL listing for U.S. and Canadian safety standards. Visit www.dlsemc.com/ul for more information.
Osselburn Joins AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation
Jay Osselburn has joined AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation of Souderton, Pennsylvania, as a senior product-engineer for the “A” Series of RF power amplifiers. These amplifiers offer coverage up to 400 MHz and power up to 16,000 watts and beyond.
Osselburn brings over 20 years of experience in the RF industry to his new position at AR. His background includes designing and developing RF amplifier and transmitter systems, as well as leading the teams of engineers working on these products. His most recent work was as a senior project engineer at Innovation Engineering, Inc., and throughout his career, he has worked at a variety of engineering companies creating products that have helped to move the RF industry forward.
Giga-tronics Names New VP of Marketing
Giga-tronics Inc. of San Ramon, California, has named Mark Elo VP of marketing. Elo comes to Giga-tronics with more than 20 years of test and measurement experience in RF and microwave instrumentation. He has held various positions at Hewlett-Packard/Agilent Technologies and Keithley Instruments.
Elo will be responsible for the marketing of all Giga-tronics products and keeping new investment programs aligned with target markets.
Giga-tronics also reports Malcolm Levy will retain his responsibilities for managing the company’s sales and business development and will assume the position of executive VP of sales.
Giga-tronics produces instruments, subsystems and sophisticated microwave components that have broad applications in defense electronics, aeronautics and wireless telecommunications.
Bosch Presents Analog Devices with Award
Analog Devices, Inc. of Norwood, Massachusetts, has received the 2009-2010 Bosch Supplier Award. ADI received the award for superior service in the electronics category (ASIC and ASSP), in particular for supplying application-specific analog and mixed-signal products designed to meet the rigorous quality and reliability standards of the automotive industry.
Awarded every two years, the prestigious Bosch Supplier Award recognizes companies that have delivered outstanding performance in manufacturing and supplying products or services while maintaining quality standards and reliability specifications, advancing technology, and making continuous improvements.
Analog Devices has continuously increased its focus on meeting the rigorous quality standards of the automotive industry over the past decade. Today, ADI supplies Bosch with products for a broad range of applications, from injection control and pressure sensing to advanced energy management and HEV solutions.
NIST Tests Ensure Reliable Wireless Alarm Beacons
Tests at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are checking alarm beacons for firefighters and other emergency responders to ensure reliability in the presence of other wireless devices.
NIST is providing technical support for industry consensus standards by developing test methods to evaluate how well these devices work under realistic conditions. The latest NIST study focused on interference between personal alert safety systems (PASS) with wireless alarm capability, and RFID systems. The methods developed in the study can test interference in other wireless devices such as radios, hands-free cell phone headsets, local area networks, and urban search and rescue robots.
“Every wireless device will fail given strong enough interference,” says NIST project leader Kate Remley.”The question is the level at which the device fails. Our goal is to develop lab-based test methods to quantify the level of interference at which PASS units fail so we can help ensure they operate reliably.”
The NIST tests involved measuring the total output power of each system in a test chamber and then isolating the systems in different labs for the interference tests. The portable PASS device and RFID tag and reader were placed in a test chamber, while the PASS base station was in a separate room. Researchers evaluated performance at various levels of signal strength and interference.
MIT Opens New Graphene R&D Center
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has opened a new R&D center to advance the science and engineering of graphene-based technologies.
The MIT/MTL Center for Graphene Devices and Systems will bring together a consortium of international researchers and industrial partners to go beyond current research and realize graphene-enabled systems for energy generation, smart fabrics and materials, radio frequency communications and sensing.
“The unique structure and properties of graphene have the potential to impact numerous industries,” said Tomas Palacios, associate professor of electronics at MIT’s department of electrical engineering and Computer Science. “The new center will be a driving force in exploring the numerous applications for graphene, and will create a vision for the future of graphene enabled- systems.”
Electrochromic Nanoplasmonic Optical Switch
In a recent article in Nano Letters, researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) describe a new high-contrast, low operating-voltage, electrochemical optical switch that uses a volume of active dye orders-of-magnitude smaller than that of conventional electrochromic devices. Electrochromism refers to a reversible change in the optical absorption of a material under an applied voltage.
The NIST and University of Maryland researchers have grown crystals of the electrochromic dye Prussian Blue inside a gold nanoslit waveguide where light propagates as a surface plasmon polariton (SPP). SPPs are collective charge oscillations coupled to an external electromagnetic field that propagate along an interface between a metal and a dielectric. The dye nanocrystals, deposited on the sidewalls of the slit by cyclic voltammetry, can be electrochemically switched to provide a transmission change ≈96% using control voltages less than 1V.
The high switching contrast is enabled by the strong spatial overlap between the SPPs and the nanocrystals confined within the slit. The contrast is also enhanced by the unexpectedly high absorption coefficient of Prussian Blue nano-crystals grown on a gold surface compared with bulk material. The switch operates efficiently even with a relatively low fill fraction of active material in the slit (≈25%), leading to a large contact area with the electrolyte. Because the light propagates in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the charge transport between the electrolyte and the ultrathin dye layer inside the nanoslit, the new switch design offers significant promise for creating electrochromic devices with record switching speeds.
Schaffner Acquisition in the USA
The Schaffner Group of Luterbach, Switzerland, has signed an asset purchase agreement to acquire the dry-type transformers operations of American transformer manufacturer MTC Transformers, Inc. as of September 1. Under the transaction, Schaffner is acquiring MTC Transformer’s Wytheville, Virginia production site, and Roanoke, North Carolina-based sales office, as well as the well-established MTC Transfomers brand. The acquisition will strengthen the Schaffner Group’s market position in North America and add a production site in the U.S. to its international manufacturing organization which already consists of production centers in China, Germany, Thailand and Hungary.
Founded in 1985 MTC Transformers, Inc. specializes in the development, manufacturing and maintenance of transformers and other power magnetics. Its Wytheville operations are focusing on dry-type transformers for medium-voltage applications in the rail technology, renewable energies and energy-efficient drive systems sectors.
Electromagnetic Pulse Threat Persists
The U.S. has made little to no progress toward protecting the nation’s electrical system from the effects of an electromagnetic pulse, a senior House lawmaker asserted. “There’s a general understanding that if it’s too good to be true it’s probably not true and EMP just seems too bad to be true, so therefore it’s relegated to the fringes by which we don’t want to talk about things because it is so improbable,” Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) said during an event at the Heritage Foundation.
He warned that the detonation of a nuclear weapon 300 miles in the atmosphere above Iowa or Nebraska could create a magnetic pulse sufficient enough to knock out the country’s entire electrical grid. Similarly, a crude nuclear device attached to a Scud missile, with an aperture of 180 miles, and fired off the East Coast could cripple all of New England.
In addition, a cyber attack aimed at the nation’s major electric transformers or a major solar event could also paralyze all electrical operations in a particular area, possibly for years, according to Bartlett.
OKI Wireless Multi-Hop Communication System
Japanese equipment maker OKI is offering an IEEE 802.15.43-compliant wireless multi-hop communication system for the 920MHz frequency band, which is scheduled to open by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in July 2012.
The 920 MHz band offers signal propagation for wireless multi-hop communication technologies suited for use in smart communities, smart houses and smart meters. OKI has evaluated performance using an acquired experimental transmitter. The testing confirmed that communication is possible over 10km when transmission output of 250mW, the specified maximum.
In addition to incorporating this technology into commercial products, OKI will draft plans for the ZigBee3 standards that support 920MHz for smart houses to familiarize ZigBee standards which is recognized internationally, and will also continue working to enhance interconnectivity for home appliances, electrical power equipment, and home gateways.
Pasquale Pistorio Wins IEEE Noyce Medal
Pasquale Pistorio, former president and CEO of STMicroelectronics NV, has been named the winner of the 2011 IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal.
The Noyce Medal, among the most prestigious awards in microelectronics, is awarded for “exceptional contributions to the microelectronics industry.” The medal is sponsored by the Intel Foundation.
In 1980, Pistorio left his position as general manager of Motorola Corp.’s international semiconductor division to become CEO of the only remaining microelectronics company in his native Italy, SGS Group.
Neil Siegel Receives IEEE Simon Ramo Medal
Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Neil G. Siegel, VP and chief engineer of the company’s IS sector, was awarded the 2011 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal for his pioneering work in systems engineering.
Siegel was selected for the Ramo Medal, which honors exceptional achievement in systems engineering and systems science, for his pioneering work “that led to the successful development of the digital battlefield, a life-saving and integral part of U.S. Army operations,” according to IEEE.
Along with receiving the medal, Siegel was also named an IEEE Fellow, an honor revered in the technical world and the association’s highest grade of membership.
“By bringing information technology and wireless communications to the battlefield, Siegel has revolutionized the military’s response to the war on terror and most importantly has saved lives of U.S. and allied forces,” stated IEEE.