SMITHS Interconnect, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, today announces that one of its businesses – Millitech, Inc. - has been awarded a $3.7 million contract for the design and development of a next generation Satellite Communications on the Move (SOTM) antenna system to help keep US Armed forces safe.
The contract was awarded by the US Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) and includes the delivery of several prototype systems. Millitech is currently the only company developing this technology.
This new technology is designed to help keep soldiers communicating with each other and enhance their awareness in extreme environments, such as theatres of operation. The antennae will be mounted on high speed vehicles including High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), which can travel at very high speeds over rugged terrain.
The new Active Quasioptic Array (AQA) antenna system will significantly increase currently available communication capabilities, greatly enhancing soldiers' situational awareness while in their vehicles.
Paul Cox, Group Managing Director of Smiths Specialty Engineering, said: “The system is designed to supply crucial information to soldiers in their vehicles, while moving at full speed over very rough territory. It is one of the most critical technologies for the next generation of communication systems and has both military and commercial applications.”
The award reflects years of internal design efforts funded by the Army Research Labs (ARL), Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and design capabilities fostered by the Center for Advanced Sensor and Communication Antennas (CASCA) at the University of Massachusetts.
The contract is for two years with an optional third year for support of the prototypes.
Millitech, Inc. is a Massachusetts-based business which specializes in the design and manufacturing of millimeter wave components, assemblies and fully integrated antenna positioning systems for satellite communications, radar, passive imaging, space and remote sensing applications. Millitech, Inc. is part of Smiths Interconnect, which is owned by Smiths Group.