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ETL Systems Equipping Solhard Technology for the Romanian Army

I was thoroughly impressed by ETL Systems. It was extremely valuable for us to find one provider that could solve all our issues. The customised nature of the service and products was even more impressive, giving me the impression that the equipment was tailor-made, just for me and the technical support was on hand whenever I needed it. ETL is not just providing RF products, but also delivering new capabilities
Catalin Bordei, CTO, Solhard Technology AKH

The Situation

Solhard Technology AKH, founded in 2001, is a service and equipment provider within the Romanian IT and Telecommunications market. The company mainly covers the design and integration of communications and information systems. Solhard also provides industrial and defence equipment and is a systems integrator for the defence market

VSAT Terminals

With a great deal of knowledge and understanding of communications systems and the unique pressures and challenges of the defence industry, Solhard was awarded a contract with the Romanian Ministry of Defence. The project involved delivery of multiple VSAT terminals and a framework agreement spanning three years.

With the requirement to provide 60 1.2 meters of transportable satellite communications terminals, Solhard needed a range of products to solve several distinctive challenges. 

Military Antenna

The Task

The project needed to be rolled out in a timely manner and the terminals ready to use with ease upon completion.

Uncovering challenges

As with any project of this size, Solhard was having to integrate equipment from various providers. As the work started, the company uncovered a variety of issues. There were a number of elements required for the project including; the distribution of RF signals from the antenna terminals to the modems, insertion of an external 10MHz reference signal on to the transmission line with the ability to attenuate the power level to avoid any damage to the equipment, and to provide power on to the receive chain.

The Actions

Solhard contacted ETL Systems initially to provide splitters and combiners to handle the satellite feeds. However, having quickly realised the vast range of its RF distribution solutions, Solhard presented the other issues to ETL’s components team to see how many of these could be resolved with ETL’s products. Catalin Bordei, CTO, Solhard, commented: “I contacted ETL Systems as I was aware of the company and its reputation for high quality RF products. I knew they could provide the splitters and combiners. However, I was delighted to realise that they could help with more than just the one issue.”

Overcoming Challenges

The RF components team at ETL Systems was able to quickly suggest solutions that would resolve all the above issues and improve RF signal distribution within the VSAT system.

As well as combiners and splitters, ETL Systems provided multiplexers to take the external 10MHz reference signal on a separate port and multiplex it to the L-band RF port, with attenuators integrated to enable Solhard to lower the power level when needed.

Power supply units were implemented to provide DC power to the amplifiers and modems, as well as bias tees, which allow the user to inject DC on the RF line using those power supplies.

Solhard are now able to monitor the network effectively using a 20dB coupler from ETL, providing a lower power sample of the signal on a designated coupled port.

Finally, ETL Systems also supplied Solhard with terminators to ensure that the performance of the system would not be adversely affected by signal reflections and unwanted harmonics, for example.

The Result

Once the solutions were selected, these were quickly and easily installed and integrated into the VSAT terminals. Providing peace of mind to the Romanian Army with ETL's reliable solutions and continual service. 

Dominic Overton, Components Sales Manager, ETL Systems, said: “Solhard has undertaken a massive project for the Romanian Army. Combining different solutions is never easy, especially when the end result has to be nothing short of perfect. We were of course pleased to be able to help and we were thoroughly impressed with its dedication and attention to detail.”