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Tait wins $10m contract

By Chris Hutching

Friday 9th May 2003

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Tait Electronics has won a $10 million contract to supply transmitters for the Australian Defence Department.

Tait solved major technical problems for the Australian defence forces and the communication system is now being installed on 24 training areas spread across the country over 18 months.

It involves the installation of Tait base stations, powered by large solar panels, on high points in the training areas.

Tait is also providing local service and maintenance support to each training area for five years.

The Tait system interacts with the existing VHF combat radio system used by the DoD. Quasi-Sync provides superior radio coverage over a wide area, by broadcasting simultaneously from several transmitters on the same frequency.

Tait Oceania's Sydney branch manager Mike Head negotiated the deal with the DoD, and said Tait was the only company in Australasia that could meet the full radio requirements of the DoD for the STARSN project with a customised safety communications system.

Tait was able to provide both software and hardware customisations to suit the DoD's requirements.

The project is one of the largest contracts won by Tait in Australia and it is hoped that further contracts with the Australian Department of Defence will follow.

Meanwhile, another technology breakthrough was announced this week in Christchurch. University of Canterbury physicists believe they have a breakthrough in nanocluster technology which could lead to a new stage in electronics.

A new company, Nanocluster Devices, has been formed by Canterprise (the university's commercial arm) to take the technology the next step toward commercialisation.

Nanocluster technology allows atomic clusters to form chains resembling wires, a billionth of a metre in diameter.

These offer several potential uses, including enabling smaller, faster transistors for computer circuits.

Physicist Dr Simon Brown and former student, Dr Juern Schmelzer, developed the techniques for making the cluster chains act as though they were wires for electronic purposes.

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