AYLESBURY, UK, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - COM DEV Europe Ltd, a subsidiary
of leading space hardware manufacturer COM DEV International (TSX:
CDV), today welcomed the successful launch of Europe's second
polar-orbiting weather satellite, MetOp, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome,
in Kazakhstan, atop a Russian Soyuz launcher. One of the core
instruments on the spacecraft called ASCAT features critical
technologies developed at COM DEV's Aylesbury facility.
ASCAT is an Advanced Scatterometer instrument operating in the C-band
(5.255 GHz). Flying in a polar orbit at an altitude of 800km on board
the MetOp series of satellites, its primary function is to provide high
precision measurements of wind velocity over the world's oceans using
real aperture radar. The high power radar signal is continually
switched to six antennas for transmission to the ocean surface. The
back-scattered signal (echo) from the wind-roughened surface is then
received and analysed and the wind speed and direction can subsequently
be derived. The polar orbit enables the instrument to build a global
picture of wind conditions across a 550 km-wide swath as the Earth
rotates underneath it during its 100 minute orbit over the North and
COM DEV Europe designed and manufactured the Scatterometer Front End
(SFE) electronics for the ASCAT instrument. The principal element of
the SFE was a C-band switch matrix, using a ring of eight ferrite
switches to route a high power RF signal (82W CW) from a HPA to one of
six antennas, and to route the receive signal from the specified
antenna to the receive channel. Additional ferrite switches were
provided for receiver protection. Ferrite was the ideal switch
technology for this application combining high power handling, low
insertion loss, and the ability to be switched at the required pulse
repetition frequency of 300Hz, resulting in a total of over 10,000
million switch operations during the mission lifetime. COM DEV Europe
also provided calibration paths (including injected signal and power
detectors), a harmonic filter for the transmit signal, and an RFC
filter and LNAs for the receive signal.
More background information is given on the mission on ESA website here:
COM DEV Europe is the leading European supplier of high-speed switching
systems for space-based radars, altimeters and communications systems.
COM DEV Europe supplied the Scatterometer Front End for the first MetOp
spacecraft which was launched in October 2006 and is still performing
excellently in orbit, highlighting the reliability of this critical
This technology, developed in the UK, has been deployed in missions
around the world including prestigious military communications
spacecraft for the USA.
About COM DEV Europe
COM DEV Europe (CDE) is subsidiary of COM DEV International, a leading
global designer and manufacturer of space hardware and services.
Founded in 1985 and based in Aylesbury, United Kingdom, CDE supplies
complex equipment, technology solutions and subsystems for space
applications with equipment supplied on over 75 space programmes. Its
customer base includes all the major space satellite providers as well
as government institutions.
This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements that
involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially
from results indicated in any forward-looking statements. The Company
cautions that, among other things, in view of the rapid changes in
communications markets and technologies, and other risks including the
cost and market acceptance of the Company's new products, the level of
individual customer procurements and competitive product offerings and
pricing, and general economic circumstances, the Company's business
prospects may be materially different from forward-looking statements
made by the Company.
The triangular logo and the word COM DEV are each registered trademarks
and the property of COM DEV Ltd. All rights reserved.
Image with caption: "The ASCAT Scatterometer Front End - designed and built in Buckinghamshire (CNW Group/Com Dev International Ltd.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120918_C7448_PHOTO_EN_18019.jpg
SOURCE: Com Dev International Ltd.