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Atlantic Microwave Year in Review: Global Expansion with ETL Systems


2019 has given us a new parent company, greater global presence and the opportunity to exhibit our satellite communications test solutions and RF and Microwave components and cables at more trade shows. With the continued growth in satellite communications (satcoms) terminals, we are seeing an increasing demand for test equipment in particular. As the satellite industry evolves testing is becoming increasingly vital , especially for operators who are trying to maintain a good customer service, to remain competitive in this new landscape.

Joining ETL Systems

At the beginning of this year, we became a part of ETL Systems, a leader in RF distribution and satellite communications equipment. The joining of the two companies is well aligned as we both have a shared focus on providing custom RF solutions. The acquisition has strengthened our global RF product range, with complimentary RF solutions, allowing us to provide a different customer base, enabling us to grow and find new opportunities together. Currently over half of our sales are to UK based companies, and with ETL’s strong international presence and reputation we are looking forward to further expanding our global customer base.

Project Wins

This year we have supplied a range of RF and microwave components to influential players in key markets for mission critical applications.

Our cables and components have been used by key organisations in Aerospace, Defence and Security. This includes an airborne search and rescue program and refitting of naval crafts, where we are the only UK supplier for a key component within a radar detection system.

Working within the telecoms test industry, we were pleased to be selected by an American manufacturer of electronic test and measurement equipment. Our components and cable equipment were successfully implemented for their high grade mobile phone testing applications.

The scientific research community continue to use our RF attenuator components products, including several UK and European based universities for Cryogenic work, as well as a leading manufacturer of Cryostats.

Our components sales have gone from strength to strength and we are proud to be the components supplier to a UK communications regulator.

Growing Presence in North America

Since the acquisition, the North American market has become an increasingly significant region for us with a growing customer base operating in the satcoms, aerospace, defence and scientific applications markets. To support this international focus, in August this year we appointed Taylor Pritchett as North America Sales Manager. This has enabled us to build on the relationships we have with our current customers as well as introduce new contacts to the benefits of our products.
Taylor Pritchett - Atlantic Microwave

Exhibiting our latest RF simulation and testing products at both NAB and Satellite 2019 proved that there is  growing demand and interest in cost effective testing and the importance of test equipment to ensure the smooth running of operations. This is hardly surprising when you consider that the satellite industry is challenged with ever more complex networks that can be expensive to test. 

We received really good feedback at both NAB and Satellite, with many satellite companies looking to run extensive tests without having to go live to do so. One thing that is apparent is that there is still a lot of confusion between Test Loop Translators (TLTs) and Satellite Simulators.

TLTs and Satellite Simulators have a wide range of applications and uses in satellite communications. They can be used in the ‘factory test environment’ where live satellite access is not possible, to allow for measurement and characterise of complete end to end systems or sub-systems, before they are installed into their final locations. They can also be used to assist in fault diagnosis where a signal may need to be injected directly into a frequency converter or antenna waveguide for example. They can be adopted ‘on site’ and ‘in the field’ for final ‘pre-live’ testing and confidence checking prior to ground systems going operational with a live satellite.

Essentially, the fundamental difference between the two technologies comes down to the connection. Typically, TLTs connect directly to antenna hardware via coaxial cable, as opposed to satellite simulators that deliver a ‘dummy‘ RF signal over the air to an antenna feed.


Demonstrating our RF Components & Test Solutions in Europe

We exhibited at one of the largest exhibitions in Europe, the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), for the first time, which provided the perfect platform for us to network and showcase our brand and products.
We had a great response to our Ka-band Satellite Simulator, a cableless offering for RF testing on mobile satellite communications systems (e.g. Satellite News Gathering Trucks) and TLT range, which are designed to replace the satellite link for test and alignment of earth station systems.


2019 has certainly been an eventful year for us as a company. It has also been an eventful one for the industry. Within the satcoms market in particular, we have heard talks of LEO launches on the horizon and we have also seen a great deal of innovation coming out of the satellite industry, such as new tools for Satellite News Gathering and a number of operators launching solutions to pair satellite with IP networks. Satellite is challenged with increased competition but this year I think we have seen the industry rise to that challenge.

As we move into 2020, there are likely to be more and more challenges for the satellite industry but with those new opportunities for satellite to power the next generation of connections and broadcast, from 5G and Internet of Things to IP broadcast. I believe we will continue to see the satellite industry innovate to succeed. At the same time testing will remain important, if not more so. I am looking forward to continuing to deliver the right solutions to ensure those networks stay connected. I am also looking forward to continuing to work with our new parent company, ETL Systems, as we move into 2020.