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Posts From May, 2015

LPRS sponsors Warwick University satellite (WUSat) project 

22 May 2015 05:05:00

Low Power Radio Solutions (LPRS), World-Wide Radio specialists supplying robust wireless solutions where reliability is paramount, is pleased to announce itself as a new product sponsor in support of the Warwickshire University Satellite (WUSat) Programme[e1] .

The Warwickshire University Satellite Team, now in their ninth year of operation was in the beginning - an undergraduate team created by Dr William E Crofts: BA; MSc by Research; PhD (Warwick); MIET; MIEEE; Chartered Engineer, to complete six years of work as the electrical power subsystem team on ESA’s moon orbiting satellite (ESMO).

The WUSAT project, run by this team of Engineering Undergraduates,  commenced in 2012 with the aim of producing a CubeSat (a nanosatellite which is typically in the form of a cube 0.1m wide, with a mass of less than 1.33kg) to launch into orbit. Their first project was WUSAT-1 where the team launched their first CubeSat to an altitude of 30km via a high-altitude weather balloon. This project explored the harsh environment the CubeSat would be subjected to, an environment where the ambient temperature can fall as low as -50°C.

The team successfully achieved the second phase of this objective in April 2015 as part of the prestigious DLR/SNSB project REXUS (Rocket Experiment for University Students) where WUSAT-2 was launched from Sweden’s Space Centre (Esrange) to an altitude of 87km. The CubeSat was ejected from the rocket’s nosecone payload and returned to earth at speeds approaching Mach2. During descent, The CubeSat’s spectroscopy payload measured elements of the earth’s atmosphere and transmitted the data, via LPRS radio modules, to a ground station receiver. This was the first occasion that an ESA/Rexus launch device had successfully achieved stand-alone radio transmission on re-entry. A major achievement for the team and for the LPRS components to work under such extreme conditions.

The WUSAT’s CubeSat radio transmission system uses LPRS’ eRIC (easyRadio Integrated Controller) modules for communication and in component prototypes. Donated initially by RS Components, the eRIC module is the latest in LPRS’ worldwide sub-1GHz easyRadio range which provides secure data transmission, on-board user programmable application memory and fully programmable low power options.

Dr Crofts commented in recent correspondence with LPRS, “…the communications subsystem is always going to be a critical part of our satellites as we begin to work on our next mission – WUSAT-3.”

LPRS is very excited to have the opportunity to assist Engineers of the future in discovering the potential and new limits of wireless technology, and are consistently amazed by the projects and innovations they see via universities and academy’s – there seems to be no bounds to the imaginative use of technology. LPRS are grateful to RS Components for introducing the WUSAT team to eRIC.


Data traffic to soar as mobile devices generate the equivalent of 10 billion Blu-ray movies by 2019 

21 May 2015 05:37:00

New research has forecast that mobile data traffic, generated by Smartphones, Featurephones and Tablets, will approach almost 197,000 PB (Petabytes) by 2019, equivalent to over 10 billion Blu-ray movies, according to Juniper Research.

However, the research found that only 41% of the data generated by these devices will be carried over cellular networks by 2019, with the majority of mobile data traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.

Smartphone & Tablet Data Usage to Double Over the Next Four Years

The research, Mobile Data Offload & Onload: Wi-Fi, Small Cell & Network Strategies 2015-2019 estimates that the average monthly data usage by smartphone and tablet users will double over the next four years. The daily media consumption by mobile users will continue to rise, bolstered by the rise in 4G adoption and factors such as HD video usage.

“Certainly, video is forming an ever-greater proportion of network traffic. For example, Juniper Research anticipates that video traffic over smartphones will increase by nearly 8 times between 2014 and 2019”, added research author Nitin Bhas. Video currently accounts for around 60% of global IP traffic and, in some developed markets, this proportion is likely to exceed 70% in 2-3 years.

In 2014, data traffic generated by smartphones, featurephones and tablets in the Far East & China exceeded that of North America for the first time.

The Demand for Wi-Fi
Additionally, the research observed that Wi-Fi has now become an integral part of operators’ network strategy. Wi-Fi is not just being used for data offload, but also to maintain call connection quality in challenging network topologies. For example, EE UK launched its Wi-Fi calling feature on a selected number of handsets in April 2015.

Other key findings include:

  • Onloaded M2M traffic will significantly increase over the forecast period, primarily driven by telematics and connected car infotainment systems.
  • North America and Western Europe will have the highest offload factor throughout the forecast period.

The Wi-Fi Calling Operators whitepaper is available to download from the new Juniper Research website together with further details of the full research

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

Magnetic field harvesting project triumphs at 2015 CWIEME Challenge 

21 May 2015 05:31:00

At last week’s CWIEME Berlin exhibition, key players in the electrical and electromagnetic industries gathered to watch four student teams battle it out for a €1,000 technology prize in the first ever CWIEME Challenge. This new initiative, sponsored by longstanding CWIEME exhibitor Marsilli (who also provided the prize), aimed to discover the most innovative electrical design and engineering projects from students around the world and introduce them to the industry’s leading manufacturers.

More than 20 high-quality entries were received, of which four were selected to present at a live final on Wednesday 6th May, moderated by author, broadcaster and futurologist James Bellini. The students were judged on communication and presentation, relevance to industry needs, technical innovation and potential for industrialisation, with solo entrant Sheng Yuan from the University of Liverpool in the UK scoring the highest.

Yuan, originally from Shanghai, presented his PhD project on the potential to harvest magnetic field energy to power condition monitoring devices, such as partial discharge sensors and infrared detectors at electrical substations, as well as real-time weather stations beneath overhead power lines. The idea was suggested by UK wireless energy monitoring and control tools manufacturer Invisible Systems, as it was important to Yuan to spend time developing technology that would bring considerable and immediate benefits to the industry and society.

His proposal includes a novel bowtie-shaped core, which he discovered to have a much higher magnetic moment and as much as five times greater power output than a conventional solenoid, and a switch in the matching circuit, which could increase transmission efficiency by 30%. These could significantly improve the reliability of condition monitoring devices, and reduce their maintenance and running costs. Yuan plans to complete his PhD project within the next one to two years and has already filed a patent.

Other projects in the final included the implementation of a DC/DC converter powered by a DC voltage inverter circuit, an integrated motor drive system, as well as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s winning electric racecar from the 2014 Formula Student grand prix.

One of the judges, Giorgio Cacopardo, sales director at sponsor Marsilli said: “Sheng’s project stood out because we could see its industrialisation in the near future and there was some ingenious thinking behind it – but all the competitors worked with impressive enthusiasm and patience.”

Marsilli leapt at the chance to sponsor the inaugural CWIEME Challenge.

“Many smaller companies like us have cut their R&D budgets, but we remain thoroughly committed to innovation. We’re not an off-the-shelf equipment supplier; rather we aim to co-innovate with our customers according to their individual needs, even the ones they haven’t thought of — constantly perfecting our machines with each order, whether in regards to size, precision, noise level, flexibility or user-friendliness. That’s why the CWIEME Challenge’s focus on promoting innovation struck such a chord with us,” said Dieter Kiefer, area manager for Germany at Marsilli.

“What’s more, there are lots of well-educated and ambitious young people out there who fit our philosophy of working independently and with passion. But coil winding is a niche area, which many students may not have heard of. CWIEME Berlin is an excellent occasion for the engineers of tomorrow to learn about what we do but also for us to support them. Only with a good mix of ages, genders and cultures can we continue to generate fresh and game-changing ideas,” he said.

Yuan said: “It’s an honour to have won this prize. I enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate my project – how it can be beneficial to the industry and society at large and how we can improve the facilities we currently have. CWIEME Berlin is also an excellent event for students to find out what the industry needs and what we can do. As students, we have lots of ideas, and with the support of the manufacturers, we can achieve great things.”

Imahara and Mouser interview Mars One CEO, Bas Lansdorp about the technical reality of a human settlement on Mars  

19 May 2015 05:49:00 Categories: news

Mouser Electronics is announcing the live interview with Mars One and Grant Imahara as part of the Innovation Spotlight lineup of four influential leaders in Space Exploration for the Empowering Innovation Together program. Grant explores the reality of a human settlement on Mars with co-founder and CEO of Mars One, Bas Lansdorp.

On the set of Star Trek Continues, Grant continues his discussion on space exploration and space travel by talking to a true visionary whose passion for science and the human mission to Mars led to the formation of his not-for-profit company, Mars One. Helping to make human colonisation on Mars a reality, Lansdorp has built an impressive team of ambassadors and advisers from all over the world, including an astronaut, Nobel Prize laureate and a former NASA chief technologist.

“We are very excited to be able to bring this educational program to the engineering community,” said Mouser President and CEO Glenn Smith. “It is a real honor to have Bas Lansdorp of Mars One participate in our Empowering Innovation Together initiative. We hope that our customers find it inspiring.”

Watch this new Innovation Spotlight interview with Mars One, to hear Lansdorp discuss why the mission is a one-way trip, what technology needs to be developed, and how they are selecting the average person to become a Mars astronaut. The Mars One mission is controversial to some, but it is inspiring a whole new generation of interest in space exploration. Join Mouser and Mars One CEO, Bas Lansdorp for an exclusive Twitter party discussing the colonisation of Mars from 1-2 p.m. (CST) on Tuesday, May 26th, #MouserParty.

“No one is more passionate and enthusiastic about space exploration and colonisation to Mars than Bas Lansdorp,” said Grant Imahara. “He is truly a visionary, and even though some people have questioned the feasibility of the company’s mission, seeing the engagement of the general public proves people are inspired to understand the origins of the solar system, the origins of life and our place in the universe.”

Mouser’s Empowering Innovation Together Space Exploration Series is sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Microsemi and Diamond Sponsors Vishay Intertechnology and Phoenix Contact.


Michelle WinnyMichelle Winny

With a combination of news, products and feature articles, Michelle provides up-to-wire commentary on new technology and legislation. Coupled with in depth coverage for specifiers and purchasers of electronic components and equipment, Michelle brings everything within the electronics market directly to her readers.