Plextek Newsletter Summer 2011
Plextek has been working with the medical device company PneumaCare for two years to support the commercial development of its pioneering PneumaScan™ technology. The platform utilises light-based scanning to enable doctors and medical staff to achieve non-invasive assessment and monitoring of lung function.
PneumaScan™ is a revolutionary technology based on novel 3D imaging technology first developed by the University of Cambridge, UK. Clinical and commercial use of PneumaScan™ is about to start at Papworth, and Addenbrooke's Hospitals in Cambridge, Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and Sheffield Children's Hospital.
Plextek has collaborated with PneumaCare since its formation, contributing ideas, business advice and supporting the design of a working prototype to help prove the concept. Plextek has since been contracted for further innovation and product development as PneumaCare begins to commercialise the concept and look at other potential applications. Plextek will also provide assistance with volume manufacturing. The collaboration has enabled PneumaCare to hit key business milestones of CE marking, Medical Regulatory and ethical approvals ahead of schedule and under budget.
Plextek has a track record for helping its clients with business transformation, delivering innovation to medical devices, diagnostics devices, telemedicine systems and biotechnology equipment. The Company's experience in medical device design and its knowledge of regulatory affairs means that all work is carried out to the highest quality and in full accordance with appropriate international standards.
Dr Colin Smithers, Managing Director, Plextek comments: "PneumaCare is a very exciting Cambridge-based start-up with a truly innovative concept and enormous commercial potential. We're delighted that our skills, knowledge and experience are helping the company on its road to success and that we will be continuing to play a pivotal role moving forward".
Ward Hills, CEO, PneumaCare comments: "Plextek has played a key role in catalysing the move from concept to working prototype cost effectively and in a very rapid timeframe. Working with Plextek has given instant access to a large pool of specialist knowledge and medical electronics design experience, which has accelerated our progress and given us a real commercial basis. As we move into the next phase for product development and launch we'll continue to benefit from Plextek's first class design skills and business advice".
Plextek has recently implemented the production of the PLANet street lighting management system for their spin out venture, Telensa, at their manufacturing partner's site in Asia.
This marks a further addition to Plextek's significant and well reputed record for designing leading edge technology products and rapidly bringing them to market. The PLANet system raised many technical challenges, however Plextek were able to hit the key commercial milestones within the challenging schedule and budget requirements.
Plextek is also moving forward with the next stage in the production of a fleet management system for REDTAIL Telematics, which includes the use of high-end manufacturing test equipment developed and produced by Plextek.
Plextek has wide experience and valuable expertise in dealing with all elements of design, manufacture and test for its customer base globally, from low volume to millions per year. A dedicated team of manufacturing technology engineers cover all aspects from product concept, design, manufacture & test, mechanical reliability to supply chain management.
The Systems Group's function is to help customers realise their business advantage by consolidating internal with external knowledge and expertise.
The group will consult with potential customers during the initial sales process to identify where Plextek can offer a complete solution. By working directly with the customer, new and more innovative solutions can be generated which draw on Plextek's complete range of expertise and thus customers benefit by saving time and money.
Another facet of the Systems Group will be to access the large library of intellectual property that Plextek has amassed over the years and look at innovative ways in which it can be utilised to create different business solutions for new market opportunities.
To head up the Systems Group, Plextek has recently appointed Dr Paul Martin. Dr Martin joins Plextek having spent the last seven years working for international aerospace and defence company Cobham where, amongst other things, he was involved in the system design of novel new air interface protocols. He also has enormous experience in 2G/3G communications infrastructure having worked for 3™ mobile during the time of the original launch of 3G in the UK.
"I am impressed with the level of systems expertise already present here at Plextek. This provides a tremendous opportunity to deliver even more value to Plextek's customers. Systems design has high value and requires in-depth knowledge of a large range of technical disciplines. Here at Plextek there are a large number of engineers with this expert knowledge which provides me with a golden opportunity to bring a new business activity to Plextek", commented Dr Martin. "By taking the systems view, we believe we can help take problems away from customers and help them to reach their end goal faster, more cost effectively and with more control."
Plextek's RF Integration Group has just returned from its annual pilgrimage to the International Microwave Symposium (IMS).
The event has become an unmissable opportunity for the group to meet with new and existing clients and to receive valuable updates from the world's leading semiconductor foundries.
This year's event was held in Baltimore and proved to be as successful as ever. It was attended by 595 exhibiting companies and over 10,000 visitors.
In 2012 the IMS will be located in Montreal, only the second time in its history that it has been held outside the USA. Plextek will be attending and can be found at Booth 505.
Dr Marcus Walden (Senior Technical Consultant, Radio Group, Plextek), Tim Jackson and Will Gibson (Founding Directors, Telensa) have presented a joint technical paper at the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation which was held in Spokane, USA from 3rd to 8th July.
The paper presents the development of an empirical path-loss model at UHF applicable to street-light telemetry and similar radio communication technologies. The propagation model uses actual signal-strength measurements obtained from Telensa's PLANet system.
Existing cellular propagation models are not yet wholly applicable to street-light communication links because model parameters are 'out-of-bounds'. For example, street-light heights are lower than cellular base stations and higher than mobile stations.
Further analysis has shown that signal levels exhibit mobile fading characteristics even though link end points are stationary, due to a continuously-changing environment (eg. moving vehicles).
Telensa's PLANet system, currently deployed in the UK, Europe and North America, uses Plextek's proprietary Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology, which enables efficient, low-power communication over long ranges to be achieved.