The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environment Satellite System Preparatory Project may not be the largest man-made satellite but it must have the longest name. See story below.
Traveling SIRCUS Tests Satellite Sensors
When project managers were completing work on the latest addition to NASA’s Earth Observing System satellite fleet – a minibus-size instrument array called the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environment Satellite System Preparatory Project, (NPP) – they saw an opportunity to take advantage of a PML facility called Spectral Irradiance and Radiance Responsivity Calibrations using Uniform Sources (SIRCUS).
The NPP observatory, launched on October 28, will make 14 orbits per day 512 miles above the Earth’s surface, carrying five separate instruments to monitor the planet’s surface, clouds, ozone levels, microwave emissions and more. The project is a partnership effort among NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Air Force, and the Department of Defense.
The largest and most complicated of NPP’s instruments is the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), built by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, which will monitor 22 spectral bands from the near-ultraviolet through the visible and near infrared.
SIRCUS employs contin-uously tunable lasers coupled into integrating spheres as spectral irradiance or radiance sources, and the team used that system to perform spectral recalibration of the VIIRS sensor while it was attached to the NPP Observatory.
AMETEK Acquires EM Test
AMETEK Inc. has acquired the parent company of EM Test GmbH, a privately held manufacturer of electronic test and measurement equipment headquartered in Reinach, Switzerland for $93 million. EM Test is a global leader in electrical immunity and EMC testing equipment, with expected annual sales of $41 million.
EM Test manufactures a full line of conducted EMC test equipment, including electrical fast transient generators, electrostatic discharge simulators, surge generators, waveform simulators and multifunctional generators.
EM Test joins AMETEK as part of the programmable power division of its Electronic Instruments Group (EIG) – a leader in advanced monitoring, testing, calibrating, and display instruments. AMETEK EIG sells its instruments to the process and analytical, aerospace, power, and industrial markets and had 2010 sales of $1.3 billion.
AR RF/Microwave Adds New Applications Engineer
AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation of Souderton, Pennsylvania, reports the appointment of Carl Mueller to the position of applications engineer for the company’s EMI receiver, conducted immunity systems, and test software. Mueller will provide customer support and will also be involved in system development.
Mueller comes to AR with more than 20 years of experience in military systems integration and testing. He has worked as Principle System Engineer on radar warning receivers, communication jam-ming systems, and aircraft simulated training systems. His background includes extensive client contact, including on-site customer training.
Mueller worked for AEL, Tracor, Marconi, BAE Systems, Cobham, and ACC-SORT Systems prior to joining AR.
Eric Schuck Named President of Arrow EMEA
Arrow Electronics, Inc., of Melvillle, New York, has named Eric Schuck president of Arrow Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Components.
Schuck will lead the electronics components products and services business for the EMEA region, reporting to Peter Kong, president, Arrow Global Components. Arrow EMEA provides electronic components, services and solutions to original equipment manufacturers as well as contract manufacturers.
Schuck has served as VP of sales for EMEA Components since 2010. Previously, he was managing director for Arrow Central Europe. Schuck joined Arrow in 1984.
Schuck is assuming respon-sibility for EMEA Components from Brian McNally, who will remain in Europe to ensure a seamless transition through the end of 2011 when he will return to the United States to assume a senior strategic global assignment within the Global Components organization.
Brown Named President and CEO at Harris Corp.
Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Florida, an international communications and information technology company, reports that its board of directors has appointed William M. Brown president and CEO. The board expects to appoint Brown, 48, to the board of directors at its December 2011 meeting.
Brown succeeds retiring Howad L. Lance, who has served as CEO since January 2003.
Brown joins Harris from United Technologies Corp., where he held several senior leadership roles since he joined the company in 1997. During the past six months, as senior VP, corporate strategy and development, he has been responsible for the company’s global strategic planning and M&A activity.
Brown received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from Villanova University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Bridging Nanophotonics, Conventional Optics
Researchers from the University of Maryland and the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology have experimentally demonstrated superfocusing of light using an optical fiber-based surface plasmonic (SP) lens.
Optical fibers have been used as low-loss light waveguides for decades. However light strongly diverges at the fiber end, limiting the utility of fiber optics for applications that require a high numerical aperture as well as a sub-diffraction-limit focal size. As described in a recent publication in Optics Express, this limitation can be overcome by fabricating an SP lens directly on the end of an optical fiber. The fiber-based SP lens is composed of a set of concentric annular slits with varied nanoscale widths cut through a uniform gold coating at the end face of a single-mode optical fiber.
The slits were fabricated using the focused ion beam system in the CNST NanoFab. When the light in the fiber impinges on the SP lens, surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) at the slit edges are excited. Because the slit widths are smaller than the light wavelength, the light passes through the slits only as SPP modes that are coupled back to optical waves at the exit of the slits. Moreover, the SPP propagation delay can be controlled by the width of the slits in order to induce a curved wavefront of exiting optical waves and thereby achieve a tight focus.
The research team’s fiber-based SP lens design can be readily integrated into many existing systems to bridge nanophotonics and conventional optics. Possible applications include laser nanofabrication, optical trapping, high-density optical storage, and high-resolution fluorescence sensing.
New Compact Range Opens
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has opened a new compact range that will be used for radar cross section measurements and antenna testing. The new facility, which is shielded against electromagnetic interference, will be used for GTRI’s defense-related research projects and collaborations with outside organizations.
Located in GTRI’s midtown Atlanta campus, the facility has a test zone that is approximately six feet wide, four feet tall and six feet deep. It can test at frequencies ranging from 2GHz to 100GHz, and that range can be extended down to 800MHz.
“This facility was designed for measuring small prototypes or for portions of larger systems,” said Stephen Blalock, a GTRI senior research technologist who manages the facility. “We will use it primarily for measuring radar signatures and for determining antenna characteristics. It will help us iterate on new designs and be certain that we’ve met design requirements.”
The range was designed with a novel integrated mobile absorber wall that can be deployed to cover the compact range reflector, allowing the facility to be used as an anechoic chamber.
The new compact range will be used to support a broad range of GTRI research projects, and will be made available for testing and collaborative research with outside organizations. Because of its capabilities and broad frequency range, the facility will be attractive to contractors working on Department of Defense projects.
Cisco Recognizes STMicroelectronics With Award
STMicroelectronics of Fairview, Pennsylvania, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has received the 2011 Excellence in Quality Award from Cisco.
This prestigious award recognizes ST for providing solutions and products of the highest quality to Cisco, striving to exceed Cisco’s expectations for high-quality standards, practices and methodologies. The distinction was awarded during Cisco’s 20th annual Supplier Appreciation Event.
Cisco presented awards to suppliers in recognition of their contributions to Cisco’s success in fiscal year 2011. At the event Cisco celebrated the shared successes of its global value chain with strategic suppliers and manufacturing partners and reaffirmed its commitment to a strong, continued partnership.
Giga-tronics Hires Sales Representative for Russia
Giga-tronics Inc. of San Ramon, California reports the appointment of a new Sale Representatives for Russia and the Russian Federation, to cover its growing business in RF and microwave test and measurement equipment. The products include the company’s high-performance microwave signal generators, broadband microwave power amplifiers, and extensive line of power meters and power sensors.
Giga-tronics is increasing its focus on providing RF and microwave test and measurement in the international market. OOO GiGaProM represents a number of leading test and measurement companies in Russia.
Founded in 1980, Giga-tronics is a leading engineering-and-design manufacturer of best-in-class RF and microwave signal generators, microwave power amplifiers, USB power sensors, microwave power meters and broadband switching matrices.