CONTRACTS
TriQuint Semiconductor
Has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force Research Laboratories (AFRL) to develop gallium-nitride (GaN) modules for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The GaN devices will extend the range and capabilities of UAVs used for reconnaissance missions over Afghanistan, Iraq, and other regions. The modules will include 20- and 50-W devices. The more efficient GaN devices will reduce the need for thermal mitigation and extend battery life.
Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp.Has been awarded a sole-source contract from NASA for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager instrument Flight Unit 2. The GPM mission will use an international constellation of satellites to study global rain, snow, and ice to better understand climate, weather, and hydrometeorological processes. Ball Aerospace and Technology will manufacture, test, and deliver the GMI instrument Flight Unit 2, support instrument integration on the spacecraft, and provide launch and post-launch support.
Harris Corp.
Has received a $139-million order to provide additional Falcon II AN/VRC-104 high-frequency (HF) tactical radio systems for the US Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program. The radio systems will be installed in new standard-size MRAP vehicles and MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles (M-ATVs). The AN/ VRC-104 system is a vehicular transceiver/amplifier that includes the AN/PRC-150(C), a Type-1 certified HF radio.
Elbit Systems Ltd.
Has been awarded an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense valued at approximately $50 million. Elbit Systems will supply the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) with its new Hermes 900 unmanned systems along with additional Hermes 450 unmanned systems to expand the IDF's Hermes 450 fleet. The Hermes 900 allows flight altitude of more than 30,000 ft., large payload capacity, and flight capabilities in adverse weather conditions.

FRESH STARTS
Averna
Has opened regional offices in Guadalajara, Mexico and Yokohama, Japan. Averna Mexico will bolster the company's test engineering support efforts for clients with operations in the area while Averna Japan will solidify the presence of Averna's test solutions for communications device testing in the Asia-Pacific marketplace.
Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Has restructured its wireless module business in North America, establishing Murata Wireless Solutions. This action aligns the resources of SyChip, Inc. with those of Murata Electronics North America, Inc.'s existing Wireless Business Development Group. John F. Denslinger will head the new organization and serve as Senior Vice President, Murata Wireless Solutions, and President of SyChip, Inc.
Wilder Technologies
This newly formed company is offering a family of test-adapter products for the test and measurement industry. These adapters allow users to test and validate their designs for compliancy based on individual high-speed, serial-protocol standards. They also assist users in finding deficiencies in their products.
QUALCOMM, Inc.Has opened a multi-million-dollar R&D center in Shanghai, which is part of the firm's ongoing efforts to utilize the growing pool of telecommunications engineering talent in China. It also hopes to enhance local R&D capabilities for the country's increasingly important wireless-communications market.
Nitronex and Modelithics
Have released the first nonlinear model for Nitronex's high-power gallium-nitride (GaN) NPT1012 device. The collaborative model predicts the performance of the NPT1012 in broadband application circuits targeting the military-communications, electronic-warfare, and radar markets. The NPT1012 is available as a free download from Modelithics' web site for Agilent Technologies Advanced Design System (ADS) and AWR Microwave Office (MWO) software at http://www.modelithics.com/mvp/NIT/. The models will be included in the next update of Modelithics Select free shareware library, which is available for ADS and MWO.
Linx Technologies, Inc.
Has acquired Apex Wireless, Inc. Based in Boulder, CO, Apex specializes in high-performance, cost-optimized wireless products employing RF transmitters, receivers, and transceivers including frequency-hopping and direct-sequence radios. Apex Wireless will retain its name and continue operations in Colorado as a business unit of Linx.
Richardson Electronics
Has launched a fully translated version of its redesigned web site to better serve its growing customer base in mainland China. The new Chinese web site provides all of the product information and resources found in the English version. It utilizes Richardson Electronics' Engineer- Focused Navigation system, which allows design engineers to access information in context of their individual interest. The simplified Chinese version of the web site is available as an option from the home page: http://www.rell.com.
TRaC
Has added formal certification testing to the new ZigBee Health Care Profile within days of the profile being ratified by the ZigBee Alliance. TRaC has also added certification testing for the ZigBee Telecoms Services Profile.
Tektronix
Has acquired Mixed Signals, Inc., which provides digital content monitoring including digital services, transport streams, ad insertion, switched digital video, and interactive content. AWR, NXP, Transim Technology, and NXP SemiconductorHave launched the NXP SimPort Design Center. This design center provides online design solutions across NXP's product portfolio and features an "interactive datasheet" for small-signal RF transistors. Engineers can generate custom data sheets for a variety of operating conditions. The online tool can be found at http://web.transim.com/nxp_rf_ss/.
Plessey Semiconductors
Has successfully passed all of the audits necessary to obtain certification to the ISO quality standards TS16949 and ISO9001 and the environmental standard ISO14001. Plessey Semiconductors was able to pass the TS16949 audit with no non-conformances.