|Description:|| What started with a conversation over a cup of coffee in a (rowing) club bar, ended up in the test chambers at Astron.....|
Seen here are Alister Bailey, Stephan Dorman and Paul de Haan from Rohill's hardware engineering team measuring receiver noise figures under the guidance of Mark Ruiter of Astron.
The conversation over the coffee pot a few months ago, arose between Alister Bailey of Rohill and Astron's Jan Noordam, after their weekly efforts at the Assen Rowing Club to aerate the water of the Noord Willems canal. Whilst lamenting the engineering "skills desert" that we all experience here in the northern Netherlands and especially in the specialism of RF engineering - it became apparent that there was an opportunity for collaboration between the oases of Astron and Rohill.
Rohill http://www.rohill.com is a small company based in Hoogeveen (about 15 minutes away from Astron) and has recently become one of the more successful companies developing and manufacturing radio infrastructures for (primarily TETRA) digital communication systems. These systems are typically employed by end users such as airports, oil refineries, police forces and so on where high reliability, instant communication is critical to the job in hand.
Rohill are continuously busy with product improvements and design developments but with a relatively small team, so the opportunity to consult with specialists at Astron for advice (so called "knowledge transfer") and access to Astron's specialised test facilities is invaluable for de-risking the development of Rohill's next generation products. It is maybe surprising to realise that the techniques required to make the receivers for staring into deep space can also be applied at the other end of the scale where a receiver has to operate within 30cm of a 100W transmitter whilst achieving near noise-floor limited performance and also not be "swamped" by today's significant levels of man-made interference.
If all goes well, then in the next few months some of these faces will appear again at Astron probably to review filter designs, perform EMC pre-compliance measurements and of course to check the coffee!