Passive Network Monitoring System gets an upgrade

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) has announced an enhancement to its Passive Network Monitoring System for converged telecommunication networks across 2G, 2.5G, 3G and now 4G LTE technologies.

The unprecedented growth in mobile data and the diverse topologies of modern networks makes the job of those with a lawful requirement to monitor networks increasingly complex. This also affects those involved in public safety and e911/e112, critical infrastructure protection, network optimization and analytics, and network situational awareness.

Agilent’s Passive Network Monitoring Systems offer a scalable monitoring and processing portfolio that effectively processes both voice and data completely independent of the telecom network elements. These systems allow legally authorized users to identify and extract communications of interest and provide accurate location information, correlate voice and data selectors, and provide advanced filtering and selection for multiple 10GbE and legacy communications links.

“10GbE is rapidly becoming the default interface on 3G and 4G network equipment,” said Tom Burrell, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Signal Networks Division. “The addition of 10GbE and LTE to our portfolio ensures that our customers can continue to expand their coverage as communication networks continue to evolve and converge.”

Agilent Passive Network Monitoring Systems are based on a high-availability 2U industry-standard platform. A flexible API with an extremely wide range of selection triggers and filters enables integration with multiple network management, lawful intercept, geolocation and cyber defense applications. High levels of security procedures and protocols ensure that only authorized users gain access to warranted information.

Stemmer Imaging releases details of the 2014 Machine Vision Technology Forum

Stemmer Imaging has published the program for the 2014 Machine Vision Technology Forum which will be held on the 22nd May 2014 at the Silverstone Wing Exhibition and Conference Centre – home of the British Grand Prix. The event features over 40 seminars, plus machine vision training tasters from the European Imaging Academy, hands-on workshops with 2D and 3D vision systems and an exhibition by over 25 leading machine vision manufacturers. 

The 40 seminars are split over 6 parallel tracks and will focus on learning rather than product presentations. Newcomers to vision can learn how machine vision can add value and also acquire knowledge of what to ask when specifying and buying vision systems. Vision experts can hear from industry experts about new techniques, new standards and new technologies. Everyone will have the opportunity to meet integrators and gain contacts in the growing area of automation as well as networking with experts in the field of machine vision.

One track will exclusively be delivered by the European Imaging Academy’s chief instructor and will feature sessions covering all aspects of machine vision theory. Another track will provide extended hands-on sessions using the latest machine vision technology. The other seminars will be delivered by industry experts from the industry’s leading manufacturers, discussing the latest technical developments in all areas of imaging & machine vision.

Registering online will allow attendees to configure their personal agenda and request specific meetings and discussions. Sessions will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

An added bonus is the lunchtime keynote speech to be delivered by Richard Noble OBE, previous land speed record holder and project director of Bloodhound SSC – the British attempt to be the first to break 1000 mph on land. STEMMER IMAGING is sponsoring the project and is providing the in car camera systems used during both testing and the record attempt itself. 



Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems to hold a 2014 business breakfast

In 2014 the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a business breakfast for companies involved in the energy sector on 3rd September, AECC. The breakfast will take place alongside the biennial Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems Show.

At the Business Breakfast delegates will hear 3 keynote speakers, network with those involved in the energy sector and get free entry into the Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems exhibition co-located alongside.

Instrumentation Scotland & Offshore Systems is taking place on 3 & 4 September. Visitors to the show will see the latest developments in test, measurement, data acquisition and control instrumentation with a key emphasis on the Offshore Industry. This event brings together companies who supply products and services specific to the offshore sector plus others who represent processing, power generation, renewable energy, paper manufacture, distilling, water and waste and marine engineering in north east Scotland.

Visitors to the exhibition also get the chance to see a range of free seminars and product demonstrations, and between midday and 2pm there is a complimentary lunch in the networking lounge.

The Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce join the National Physical Laboratory, GAMBICA, Institute of Measurement & Control and The Profibus Group in their show support for the show. Which also has Roustabout, Platform, Business Scotland, Instrumentation and Energy Management publications as media sponsors.

Visitor pre-registration will go live from June.

Istanbul plays host to an international emissions monitoring event

CEM 2014 is the 11th in a series of international conferences and exhibitions focusing on the monitoring of emissions. Taking place at the Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel in Turkey from the 14th to the 16th May, CEM 2014 provides an international focus for anyone involved with emissions to air, and registration has now opened.. 

The CEM Conference will feature speakers from 13 different countries covering a wide variety of subjects within the event’s emissions monitoring theme. Registration costs either €595, or €360 per person per day and provides access to both the CEM 2014 Conference and the associated exhibition, in addition to complimentary lunches and refreshments.

The opening presentation and welcome speech will be given by Mr Soner Olgun, Head of the Laboratory, Measurement and Monitoring Department at the Turkish Ministry of Environment. The Conference will address the most topical issues relating to emissions monitoring and will contain four main themes:


  1. Regulation –  international and industrial
  2. Standards, quality assurance and control
  3. Equipment innovation
  4. Case studies


Several pollutants will be covered by the presentations, which will also address process and emissions monitoring issues for all types of regulated processes including power stations, steelworks, industrial processes, combined heat and power plants, energy from waste systems and carbon capture. For example, one of the speakers will describe the application of FTIR monitoring technology to emissions from Germany’s vast biogas industry.

Air quality and climate change are two of the major challenges facing the world, so a heavy responsibility is placed on the shoulders of those that monitor, control and regulate emissions to air. CEM 2014 therefore provides visitors with the opportunity to catch up with the latest regulatory requirements and standards, and with the technologies that are being developed to comply with them.


Imperial College London chooses FLIR Systems for experiments using thermal imaging

The Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London (UK) has chosen to use a FLIR Systems X6540sc thermal imaging camera to conduct heat transfer experiments on thin-film flows. Studying heat transfer in thin-film flows is key to enabling the accurate prediction of complex hydrodynamic processes, crucial for the design of many engineering systems that rely on these flows.

Research within the Clean Energy Processes group at the Chemical Engineering Department of  Imperial College London is aimed at the development and employment of new imaging techniques for conducting simultaneous spatiotemporal measurements of thickness, velocity, temperature and heat flux in thin-film flows. Apart from the purely theoretical interest, the high surface-to-volume ratio and small heat and mass transfer resistances of thin films at relatively small flow rates renders them instrumental in the development of efficient means of heat and mass transfer. Consequently, thin-film flows are employed in a wide variety of engineering and technological applications, such as evaporators, exchangers, absorbers, micro-reactors, air conditioning and gas turbine blade cooling.

Dr Alexandros Charogiannis, a Postdoctoral Research Associate working under the supervision of Dr Christos Markides, commented “Being able to conduct high resolution (640 x 512 pixel) IR thermography measurements at high frame rates (100 Hz) using the FLIR X6540sc camera will allow us to gain an unprecedented insight into the flow dynamics of a great range of flow regimes of gravity-driven thin film flows, gas and shear-driven horizontal film flows and Marangoni flows”.  He added “Before purchasing the FLIR camera we had to rely on camera loans from the EPSRC Engineering Equipment Pool (EPI) which were dependent on availability.  During our evaluation process to select our own thermal imaging camera we looked into 12 different camera options from FLIR and other companies. The excellent results from the demonstration of the X6540sc on our own thin film set-up coupled with FLIR’s strong applications support convinced us that this camera  was the optimum component to supplement our experimental setup”.

The X6540sc thermal imaging camera from FLIR Systems provides ultra-fast frame-rate acquisition for scientific and research applications involving dynamic thermal events. The device features a 640 × 512 digital InSb detector with spectral sensitivity from 1.5 to 5.5 µm and a f/3 aperture. It provides images up to 125 Hz in full frame and up to 4011 Hz in a 64 × 8 subwindowing mode. Features on this research grade camera include high thermal sensitivity, snapshot imagery, a motorised spectral filter wheel and a detachable touch-screen LCD. The camera connects to the company’s ResearchIR Max R&D software for thermal imaging data acquisition, analysis and reporting.  The X6540sc can be temperature-calibrated up to 300 °C, or up to 3000 °C with spectral and/or neutral density filters, and it provides measurement accuracy of ±1 °C for standard configurations.


Recent ‘Saharan dust’ issue highlights the need for air quality monitoring

Recently, the Prime Minister’s car was covered by a thin layer of Saharan dust and air quality was suddenly a lead item in the national news. The dust itself does not pose a serious hazard to health in comparison with the finer particles (from diesel engines for example) that travel deep into the lungs, but Jim Mills, MD of Air Monitors, believes that the media attention that this event inspired should have a positive effect on the UK’s strategy for improving air quality. He said: “This recent pollution episode demonstrates that people need to be able to see pollution before they become interested in it,” he says.

Just a few days prior to this, the World Health Organisation reported that ‘in 2012 around seven million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk.

The statistics that show 29,000 premature UK deaths (as a result of air pollution) pass largely unnoticed because the ‘cause of death’ is usually a heart attack, a stroke or some other cardiovascular ailment. The fact that this figure exceeds those for obesity, alcohol and road traffic accidents is largely ignored.
Mills, however, believes that the problem needs to be made visible: “People need to know what the air quality is, but that information needs to useful…

“Air quality data needs to be more spatially specific; people need to know which streets are particularly bad so that they can make decisions accordingly; such as choosing a route to work or selecting a school in an area with cleaner air.

“Greater detail and higher visibility of air quality data will also help to motivate politicians to implement measures to improve air quality.”

According to Mills, finding a way to improve the detail and visibility of data has been the focus of Air Monitors in recent years. He said: “We have developed a bolt-on capability (AQWeb) for monitoring stations that utilises the latest communications technology and the ‘Cloud’ to make live data available via the Internet. In addition, working with the company Geotech, we have launched AQMesh, a revolutionary technology that dramatically reduces the cost and footprint of monitoring equipment so that air quality can be measured anywhere, and live data viewed at anytime from anywhere.”

Sensor and measuring industry expands

The AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement (AMA) has polled its members on economic development in the year 2013. The annual revenue of the sensor industry shows a growth of 3%, compared with the results of the previous year. Asked about their outlook for the current year, the AMA members anticipate a continued, distinct growth in turnover of 7%.

The sensor and measurement industry proved to be exemplary in research and development; and small and medium-sized enterprises invested 10% of their revenue in research and development.

The AMA members’ export quota stabilised at 40% overall, the level of the previous year. Exports to other European countries rose by 3% to an overall 2%. The export quota to countries outside Europe dropped by 2% to 17%.

The sensor and measuring industry is investing and has augmented investments last year by an additional three percent. For the current business year 2014, AMA members reckon an increase in investments of 8%. This development also affects a growing demand for personnel, which rose by two percent last year.

Thomas Simmons, managing director of the AMA Association for Sensors and Measurement commented: “Characteristics, such as precision, longevity, and efficiency define the quality of processes and products. An ‘Industry 4.0’ can’t be implemented without intelligent sensors and measuring technology. That’s one of the reasons for our branch of industry to look forward to the current business year with confidence.”

Mantracourt Electronics celebrates its 40th anniversary

Mantracourt Electronics is celebrating its 40th year in business. Father and son, Bob and David Willmington established the business, developing a range of electronic controllers and alarm devices. The company has since gone on to develop over 1,000 instrumentation products and a vast global network of resellers.

“We are very proud of our 40th year, and although so much has changed as a business, the original values of the company remain the same,” said Kelly Voysey, marketing manager. “The ethos to provide our customers with the highest quality measurement ability is as deep rooted now as it was in 1974. Field reliability, repeatability, performance and fast response technical support are the core reasons our customer base continues to expand. We have worked closely with engineers out there in the real world, and this has helped us develop effective and reliable instrumentation products”.

All Mantracourt’s products are designed and manufactured in-house at its factory near Exeter. This enables the company to provide fast turn around for new designs and bespoke measurement solutions, plus, complete control of the manufacturing quality and final testing.

“As well as developing and manufacturing complete products, we also provide electronics for a number of OEM manufacturers in the instrumentation sector,” added Voysey.


Instrumentation magazine undergoes re-design – view the issue here!

The Connecting Industry portfolio of magazines – which includes such titles as Instrumentation, Design Solutions and Automation – has been re-designed to give them a more modern, up-to-date look.

Instrumentation March has just been published with the new design. This covers a variety of topics including: Data acquisition; Non-contact measurement & inspection; Test & measurement; and also features a Calibration Supplement.

To view the latest issue, click on this link.

To register to receive either printed or digital versions of the magazine, click here and fill in the form.

Flying the flag for British engineering excellence

Sensonics was the only British instrumentation manufacturing company to secure a contract with the Korea Electric Power Corporation to supply vibration monitoring equipment for four nuclear power plants in the UAE. 

Now, the company’s success as a major exporter of instrumentation which protects power plants around the world has been acknowledged by a government initiative to make it easier for the UK’s small businesses to grow. Small Business GREAT Ambition sits alongside the governments Industrial Strategy of promoting growth and making the UK more competitive. Successful companies were invited to a special reception held at Number 11 Downing Street.

This major overseas contract and the UKTI Small Business GREAT Ambition recognition underlines Sensonics’ commitment to developing innovative and effective solutions for vibration, position and speed instrumentation for critical machine condition monitoring applications in power generation and process manufacturing industries around the world.