Thursday, May 28, 2009

IMS 2009 MTT-S Coverage

As we approach IMS 2009 MTT-S June 7-12, most of our entries will be related to the conference and exhibition in Boston (our home town). Microwave Journal's May issue is dedicated to show coverage and has various exclusive articles including the cover story that takes a look at the past conferences in Boston as told by the past chairs and a preview of the upcoming show.

We have a dedicated web site that is live now, the Online Show Daily, that covers the show news, new products, articles from the May issue, messages from the chairs, videos, photos, special blogs, and informational podcasts. We also will be the landing page for the Cyber Cafe at the show. We hope everyone will find useful information and the latest news about the show.

Stimulus Funds for Wireless

We have covered the potential benefits of the stimulus funding to the wireless industry and now ABI has released a report covering this subject. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, also known simply as the Stimulus Bill) will provide funding for a massive $6.8 billion worth of wireless communications upgrades and new deployments over 2009-2010. The Act offers a significant one-off opportunity for wireless equipment vendors.

In healthcare, the scope for adding wireless to the technology mix encompasses Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and sensors, communications systems linking health networks, telepresence, wireless LAN equipment, and Wi-Fi-enabled video surveillance systems.

In education, already a leading adopter of Wi-Fi solutions, equipment vendors are developing templated solutions in such areas as WLANs for "learning anywhere," voice-over-Wi-Fi, and WLAN equipment and software to track students’ progress for "No Child Left Behind" record keeping.

The Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection are potential goldmines for wireless vendors because of the many agencies within them that will use ARRA funds for tactical communications equipment, infrastructure equipment, and security equipment. Even critical infrastructure construction projects such as bridges and tunnels often require wireless video surveillance systems.

Hopefully these funds will find their way into the hands of companies soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thoughts after Memorial Day Movie Madness

My youngest child loves those old war movies, which (I confess) I don't mind watching either. Last weekend, AMC ran a full day of the classics and we sat down and watched some of them before heading out to enjoy the breaking New England weather. The two of us watched the classic George C. Scott movie "Patton" and "The Battle of the Bulge". While we only caught parts of each, the two major scenes we did see involved the Army's and Air Force's inability to function during bad weather. Somewhat like me and my son waiting for the sun to come out.

The lack of air support due to winter weather for Patton was so bad, that he ordered his chaplain to write a prayer for good weather (one of the movie's more memorable moments). Remember that scene? The situation in the Battle of the Bulge was equally dire, although it was not portrayed with the same humor. At the time, it got me thinking about how fortunate we are to have developed radar that would allow pilots to see through inclement weather. Its "awesome" that engineering can be applied to remove almost any obstacle. With this in mind, this little news item from Wednesday May 27th grabbed my attention.

EADS Defence & Security (DS) will equip the German Armed Forces with a new kind of ground surveillance radar – Bodenüberwachungsradar (BÜR) – for detecting movements on the ground and at low altitudes with unmatched precision. Initially Defence Electronics (DE), an integrated activity of DS, has handed over the first of two system demonstrators to the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) for evaluation by the Bundeswehr’s Technical Centers.

The delivery of approximately 80 BÜR systems is scheduled to start in 2012. They are intended to close the gap in capabilities of the German Armed Forces in the area of intelligence gathering and reconnaissance. A modified version of this radar destined for civil applications such as surveillance of border regions or industrial facilities is currently under development.

The BÜR system is based on Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) electronic scan control technology, which opens up new possibilities for detection and surveillance. Thanks to delay-free electronic beam control, the radar can perform multiple reconnaissance tasks at the same time, thus achieving a much greater level of efficiency and reliability in comparison to mechanically scanned radars. Each BÜR system can therefore assume the tasks of several conventional radars.

With old war movies fresh in my mind, I can only say - good thing this technology was not available when Messerschmitts and Stukas dominated the skies of Europe.