SA radar sector has marked a major milestone in its history

Late last year the South African electronics industry, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African National Defence Force, the Air Traffic and Navigation Services and other institutions celebrated the 75th anniversary of radar in this country. On December 16, 1939, the first South African-built radar was successfully operated for the first time.
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Go-ahead given for next phase of the SKA

The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project will now enter its final preconstruction phase. This decision has been taken unanimously by the SKA board of directors and was announced on Monday by the SKA Organisation, which is responsible for leading the project and is based at the Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester in the UK. The SKA is currently in its design phase.

The first phase of the SKA, known as SKA1, is budgeted at €650-million and will result in the creation of two complementary instruments, one each in South Africa and Australia. The South African instrument will be composed of some 200 dishes, will operate in the 350 MHz to 14 GHz frequency range and is known as SKA1 Mid. The Australian instrument will comprise more than 100 000 (perhaps as many as 130 000) dipole antennas, will operate in the 50 MHz to 350 MHz frequency range and is called SKA1 Low.
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Electronic warfare alliance created between two S African companies

Recently established Denel Integrated Systems and Management (Denel ISM) has formed an alliance with GEW Technologies, a South African subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, part of Europe’s Airbus group. The alliance is intended to pursue future electronic warfare (EW) programmes.

Denel ISM is part of the State-owned Denel defence industrial group. It was created (late last year) to serve as a partner in the defence and security industries in the field of complex systems – their design, integration, management and through-life support. GEW Technologies was previously known as Grintek Ewation, originally set up in 1968. Its main shareholders are Airbus and local enterprise Kunene Finance Company.
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World Bank seeks $500m for African weather services

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The World Bank is working with other development finance institutions to raise some $500-million to modernise weather and flood forecasting services in Africa. Daniel Kull, a disaster risk specialist with the World Bank, said it was talking to lenders, including the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, about mobilising the funds to improve prediction, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Necsa develops new process to produce a key modern industrial gas

The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) is expanding its technology portfolio of speciality gases. (Necsa subsidiary Pelchem has long been renowned for its production of fluorochemicals, including gases and acids.) Not only is the group adding production capabilities for a new product but, perhaps even more importantly, it has developed a new way to produce it, which also increases the purity of the product, while reducing costs.
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Innovators need to sweep investors and customers off their feet

To succeed, innovators with new ideas and start-up companies need passion, commitment and optimism. “Technologies are not made by doubters, cynics or sceptics,” highlighted US venture capitalist Roman Kikta at the recent Innovation Bridge event in Pretoria. “Technology and innovation and entrepreneurship raises the quality of life not just for local people but for people around the world,” he pointed out. “There are also transformative innovations coming out of South Africa.”
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