COM DEV Europe Technology Launched on European Weather Satellite

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 South poles.

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: http://www.esa.int/esaLP/SEMBWEG23IE_LPmetop_0.html.

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 equipment.

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.

For further information:

Rob Goldsmith
Business Development Director
COM DEV Europe
Tel:  +44 1296 616420
rob.goldsmith@comdev.co.uk

Gary Calhoun
Chief Financial Officer
COM DEV International
Tel:  +1 519-622-2300 ext. 2826
gary.calhoun@comdev.ca

Jeff Codispodi
The Equicom Group
Tel: +1 416-815-0700 ext. 261
jcodispodi@tmxequicom.com

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