Link Microtek optical encoding technology delivers secure wireless communications for QinetiQ test facility


ngineers at a QinetiQ naval-communications test and evaluation facility at Portsdown in Hampshire are

reaping significant benefits from the recent installation of an Azdec optical MLC (mobile local communications) system designed and developed by Link Microtek, the manufacturer of optical, RF and microwave products. Dubbed CDIF (communications development and

Evatron Sensor Cases T

he sturdy, yet simple features of our sensor cases and control units make them unobtrusive and ideal for

domestic, commercial and office applications. These versatile, attractive and discreet ABS enclosures are available in white, off white, light grey and black. Ventilation allows free airflow making them an ideal housing for thermostats, sensor probes and all temperature, gas and humidity sensing applications. Whatever the application, we have a range of options to meet your needs, with most sensor enclosures having PCB mounts in the base and lid plus pre-drilled wall mounting points. In addition, Evatron can provide a competitive machining and printing service to customise and brand your enclosure – please ask us to quote.

Evatron  01908 325100 

integration facility), the facility is equipped with a vast array of radio systems, simulators and analysers, enabling it to emulate almost any ship’s communication system for purposes such as R&D, capability assurance and operational support. The CDIF is divided into two separate rooms – one housing racks of equipment and the other primarily functioning as a control room – so there is a constant need for personnel to communicate between the two.

Paul Netting, QinetiQ’s Maritime Comms & Networks

Team Lead, explains: “Because of the nature of the work we do here, we cannot use an RF-based system of any kind for mobile local communications as the whole building has to be protected from inadvertent leakage of transmissions. Originally we had to either walk from room to room or reel out a telephone extension cable, which was obviously inconvenient and also presented a trip hazard. Now though, the Azdec MLC system has solved this problem.” Since it employs optical encoding technology, the Azdec

system provides QinetiQ personnel with totally secure, interference-free voice communications while allowing them to roam around the CDIF building, unhindered by any trailing wires. There are no RF emissions and the signals cannot be intercepted by any conventional method, so it is impossible for anyone to jam the transmissions or eavesdrop on what is being said. The 8-channel Azdec system in the CDIF comprises a compact base station, 14 fixed infra-red antennas, eight binaural headsets, 16 operators’ belt-mounted battery-pack/control units, and a central

battery-charger unit. Link Microtek

 01256 355771 

Flow Sensor Solution for Ventilators: Patient-side and Accurate, Easy-to-Use and Safe


low sensor solutions for ventilators that include

connectors and cable interfaces were launched in February 2019. They enable patient-side measurement of inhalation and exhalation flows. The different standardized variants are available to medical technology OEMs free of development and tooling costs. They are the product of the cooperation between the sensor manufacturer Sensirion AG and medical technology cable and connector specialist Nicolay GmbH.

The requirements for patient-oriented ventilation which takes individual pathophysiology of the patient into account represents a challenge to the manufacturers of modern ventilators. It requires highly accurate inspiratory and expiratory gas flow measurements. Classic sensors installed inside a ventilator and distal from the patient make it difficult to achieve the required accuracy. Nicolay and Sensirion took on this challenge and launched a sensor-connector-cable solution that provides accurate, patient-side measurement while delivering a reliable flow signal to the ventilator. The solution includes different options of cables and connectors in order to reliably transport calibrated and temperature-compensated output signals of the sensor back to the ventilator. These options also ensure, among other features, compatibility with a variety of communication protocols. This sensor-connector-cable combination is now also available in Distribution.

High-Quality Sensor Technology The Sensirion Flow Meter (SFM) is available either in autoclavable and washable (AW)


variants or as single-use solutions (D = disposable). The SFM3400 was developed for neonatal applications, that means for measuring very small volumes, while the SFM3300 was developed for adult ventilation. The SFM3200 is intended for expiratory applications. The performance of these gas flow sensors is based on technology developed and patented by Sensirion that combines the sensor element, signal processing and digital calibration on a single microchip. The flow rate of gases is measured using a microthermal sensor element that among other advantages, enables a wider dynamic measurement range and superior long-term stability compared to other measurement principles. All flow meters come factory calibrated which makes them straightforward to use without prior or repeated calibration.

Modern Connector and Cable Variants

All sensor variants can be connected to the ventilator using the Nicolay Flow Meter Connector. This robust mechanical interface is incredibly easy to use; it attaches easily and only in the intended manner to ensure correct use even in fast-paced situations. When connected, the interface is leak-proof to protection rating IP54, and when detached it allows for wipe disinfection. Communication with the sensor I²C bus using short cable lengths requires nothing more than a connection with simple spring contacts. A secure signal transfer over longer cables utilizes electronics integrated into the connector to convert the signals. When equipped with an RS485 or RS232 interface, the device translates the signals ready for the ventilator's common communication protocols. There is also a range of connector options available, for example the Nicolay mini7 or mini12 interfaces. In addition to the standardized product variants, customer-specific PCB layouts can also be realized and integrated into the connector.

Sensirion  +41 44 306 40 00 


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