European briefs

May 1st, 2007
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Israeli land robot can roll sensors, sniffers, and even a mini machine gun into combat

Elbit Systems Ltd. in Haifa, Israel, is introducing the VIPR unmanned ground vehicle, which is capable of climbing stairs and obstacles to carry out a variety of missions that will save soldiers lives and enhance combat performance, Elbit officials say. Short for versatile, intelligent, portable robot, VIPR is 18 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 9 inches long. Configurable with add-on sensors, modules, and payloads, the robot is remotely controlled via a control harness and helmet-mounted display. Optional payloads include: infrared sensor, day/night zoom camera, explosives sniffer, 9-millimeter mini-Uzi machine gun with scope and pointer, grenade releaser, 4-foot robotic arm, gripper, and in-building mapping. Elbit officials say the VIPR is designed to reduce the danger to infantry soldiers during different phases of combat by taking on many of the challenges faced by today’s land warriors. VIPR is undeterred by stairs, rubble, dark alleys, caves, or narrow tunnels, and can detect improvised explosive devices and booby traps, and can warn soldiers of enemies and dangers ahead. VIPR was developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) within the framework of its Portable Unmanned Ground Vehicle (PUGV) program, and in cooperation with The Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense R&D (DDR&D). For more information contact Elbit Systems online at www.elbitsystems.com.

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Enea acquires QiValue Technologies to strengthen offerings in embedded Linux software

Enea in Stockholm, Sweden, has acquired Linux software provider QiValue Technologies, also located in Stockholm, Sweden. The acquisition will bolster Enea’s Linux expertise, strengthen its software offering, and increase Enea’s ability to offer embedded Linux solutions, Enea officials say. QiValue has 13 employees, and offers Linux services medical and telecommunications applications. “QiValue provides Enea with Linux competence as well as new customers and together we will have the ability to further increase the sales of Embedded Linux solutions”, says Anders Törnqvist, president and CEO of QiValue. For more information contact Enea online at www.enea.com, or QiValue at www.qivalue.com.

Joint training boosts European military synthetic training and simulation applications

The need for joint military training exercises allied with benefits of time and cost efficiencies is boosting European demand for military synthetic training and simulation, say experts at market researcher Frost & Sullivan in London. As the market expands, new entrants are increasingly entering the fray and intensifying competition, Frost & Sullivan analysts say, adding that the European military synthetic training and simulation markets earned revenues of $1.1 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $1.8 billion in 2015. “As European countries increase cooperation in joint military training programs to promote improved training efficiency and cost reductions in net-centric warfare (NCW) environments, the markets for military synthetic training and simulation will expand,” explains Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Marie-France Mann. “The switch to joint training will mean that a series of networked simulation devices will need to be procured even as current systems will have to be upgraded, networked or replaced.” Operations and maintenance expenditures incurred while using simulated training devices for military training purposes are significantly lower than that incurred using actual military equipment, analysts say. Despite the optimistic scenario, contracts are decreasing in number. This situation is compelling subcontractors to win at least a segment of these contracts to survive and avoid exiting the market altogether. Also, as the number of participants increases, competition is intensifying and the market is becoming fragmented placing tremendous pressure on small- and medium-size contractors. For more information contact Frost & Sullivan online at www.defence.frost.com.

QinetiQ installs a satellite communications system on U.K. helicopters

QinetiQ has integrated a civil satellite communications system into several United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Joint Helicopter Force (JHC) aircraft, as part of an in-theater Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) program. The requirement was to deliver beyond-line-of-sight voice communications capabilities that enable deployed JHC helicopters to communicate simply and efficiently with operational headquarters. In 8 to 12 weeks (depending on the platform) QinetiQ, working closely with the JHC Identification and Communication Equipment (ICE) Integrated Project Team (IPT), went from the initial meeting to delivering this operational solution, company officials say. The various stages included the initial feasibility study, investigating technical options, then recommending and deploying the optimum beyond-line-of-sight technology to meet the capability enhancement requirements, across the identified aircraft variants. “Through this UOR QinetiQ has demonstrated its capability in working with customers and stakeholders to quickly provide solutions to real problems that are affecting U.K. forces’ operational performance,” says Andrew Sleigh of QinetiQ’s defense business. The program brought together QinetiQ’s Malvern-based communications design teams and engineering staff with its system evaluation services/flight-engineering services personnel based at Boscombe Down, England. Together they surveyed the aircraft, evaluated the current capabilities and roles of the platforms plus looked at the various commercially available systems available. This study determined that the maximum value would be realized by using a civil satcom based solution as it best met user requirements and this was then integrated onto the aircraft. QinetiQ was also tasked to develop and deliver a ground-based system, based on the same satcom technology, to provide in-theater end-to-end connectivity. The design and build of these units, including sourcing all ancillary components was undertaken by QinetiQ. Operator training and user documentation was also provided for the complete solution. For more information contact QinetiQ online at www.qinetiq.com.

Lambda packs 450 Watts into half a brick

Lambda in Ilfracombe, England, is introducing a range of PAH450 DC-DC converters that deliver 450 Watts of output power from an industry-standard half-brick package. In many applications, these units can replace full-brick converters, company officials say. Lambda’s PAH450 converters are for telecommunications and other hash-environment communications applications including supplies for power amplifiers in cellular telephone base stations. Designed for operation from nominal 48-volt inputs, the converters are available with either 28-volt or 48-volt outputs. PAH450 converters feature baseplate cooling and can deliver output power with no derating over a baseplate temperature range of -40 to 100 degrees Celsius. An optional heat sink is available to provide enhanced thermal management in particularly demanding applications. In line with the existing 350-Watt devices in the PAH range, the PAH450 models feature high conversion efficiency, which reduces system heating, and constant switching frequency to simplify filtering. The output voltage is adjustable over a small range to allow an exact match to the requirements of the application, and remote sensing is supported, along with remote on/off control. PAH converters comply with the requirements of EN60950-1 and its international equivalents. All models in the range are backed by a two-year warranty. For more information contact Lambda online at www.lambda-gb.com.

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