Pulse Power and Measurement partners with Aston University to develop game-changing satellite communication technology
Pulse Power and Measurement Ltd (PPM) has been working with Aston University through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to develop a game-changing approach to technology used in the radio-over-fibre communications industry. The project will look to transform the connection between low earth orbit (LEO) satellite antenna dishes and modems through optics rather than electronics, delivering performance, functionality and cost benefits.
A KTP is a three-way collaboration between a business, an academic partner and a highly qualified graduate, known as a KTP associate. The UK-wide programme helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Aston University is the leading KTP provider within the Midlands.
PPM designs and manufactures a wide range of Radio Frequency (RF) over fibre systems, which allow RF electrical signals to be submitted over fibre optic cables. Its ‘ViaLite Communications‘ business division is focused on optical transportation and manipulation of analogue radio communication signals used in applications such as satellite communications, telemetry, broadcasting, cellular base stations and radar. The company has a range of high-profile international clients, including tier 1 satellite and broadcast providers.
Through the KTP, PPM will have access to academic expertise from the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, one of the largest photonics research groups in the world. The academics working on this project are Dr Paul Harper and Professor Wladek Forysiak, both of whom have extensive experience of academic research and industrial development in the field of optical fibre communications. Performing the role of associate is Dr Muhammad Nouman Malik.
Dr Muhammad Nouman Malik working at PPM
Dr Harper is head of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering department, while Professor Forysiak is currently a Royal Academy of Engineering Professor in highly integrated coherent optical fibre communications and has previously held positions as EPSRC Manufacturing Fellow and Royal Society Industry Fellow.
Gary Barton, company supervisor at PPM, said:
“Collaboration with Aston University via the KTP incentive is enabling PPM to push the boundaries of optical transport systems necessary to meet the challenges of new and diverse market requirements.
“With the valued assistance of Aston University’s Institute of Photonics Technologies, the development programme is on course to deliver on PPM’s ambition to advance the next generation of analogue optics.”
Dr Paul Harper, head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Aston University, said:
“This KTP project has been a great way for us to work with a new industrial partner and learn from PPM’s expertise in radio-over-fibre systems while passing on our optical fibre systems knowledge. Despite the problems posed to mobility by the pandemic, we’ve successfully completed collaborative proof-of-concept lab demonstrations in the first year of the project and are now moving onto the next phase of the development work.”
Dr Muhammad Nouman Malik, associate on the project, said:
“Acting as a bridge between academic and industrial partners has given me the opportunity to gain experience managing a challenging real-world project, with dedicated coaching and mentoring accelerating my personal development.”
BAE Systems Acquires Pulse Power and Measurement
Pulse Power and Measurement (PPM) and BAE Systems have today [04/03/2021] announced that BAE Systems has acquired PPM.
The acquisition is part of BAE Systems’ strategy to develop breakthrough technologies, with continued investment in research and development, working with customers, industry partners, SMEs and academia, and pursuing bolt-on acquisitions where they complement existing capabilities and provide an opportunity to accelerate the company’s position in key areas.
PPM’s technical excellence, developed over 25 years, has earned it a reputation for quality and reliability in the Satellite and Broadcast markets by providing the innovative ViaLite RF and fibre optic products used in the ground based communications segment. Amongst its wide range of capabilities, PPM provides pit lane and car telemetry in Formula 1, specialist measurement equipment for aircraft clearance, and high performance electronic sub-systems for power trains on electric vehicle and aerospace platforms.
PPM has a strong track record of working within the defence and communications sector, cyber security and commercial test and research markets in both the UK and USA and it strongly complements BAE Systems’ digital and data capabilities. Together the companies have a shared goal to expand the use of RF systems and power electronics technologies across a range of applications for military and commercial customers.
Ian Muldowney, Chief Operating Officer, Air Sector commented:
“Pulse Power and Measurement and BAE Systems are an excellent fit; both companies have superb technology credentials, thrive on innovation and work closely with military and government customers to deliver pioneering technology-based solutions. The acquisition further advances our strategic objective to develop and grow our capabilities in secure systems and information exploitation.”
Martin Ryan, Managing Director, Pulse Power and Measurement said:
“We are excited about joining BAE Systems and bringing together our complementary capabilities which will give our innovative team of specialists and engineers access to world-class expertise and ensure our successful business continues to grow.”
PPM will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of BAE Systems, retaining the name of Pulse Power and Measurement Limited.
PPM Opens 40 New Offices
PPM has announced the opening of 40 new offices in the UK.
Those working from the 40 home offices continue PPM’s engineering and design, sales and marketing, customer service and accounts work. They are in addition to employees already working remotely in the USA, Poland and Thailand.
Most of the company’s Production team remain on-site for the manufacturing and shipment of orders, and – to ensure a completely smooth customer-experience – some customer service and accounts employees also remain. PPM has four divisions: PPM Power, ViaLite Communications, PPM Systems and PPM Test; all of which are still taking and processing orders.
PPM’s aim is to provide its customers with a “business as usual” experience whilst protecting its staff and the local community. It has also published a coronavirus statement encouraging customers to ring up simply for a chat, should they be feeling isolated.
Neil Seager, CEO, said:
“I’m not at all surprised by the rapid response and adaptability of everyone at PPM to the new normal, because that is what we do so well; nevertheless it has been a heartening experience. We remain focused on you the customer, and are happy to chat anytime on Zoom, WebEx, Skype, or just by phone.”
We would like to give you some comfort that we are still here and that our production facility and distribution facility remain operational. We still aim to deliver on time and we are working closely with our customers where we feel our usual standard of delivery and service might be affected by the current challenges we face. At the same time we are taking measures to ensure that the health of employees, customers and suppliers are not compromised.
Like other companies and organisations around the world, PPM and ViaLite are supporting the global efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by introducing changes in line with Government and The World Health Organization Recommendations, including:
- Staff are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if either them or a close family member displays symptoms of COVID-19
- We are having meetings by telephone and videoconferencing (e.g. Skype and Zoom) rather than having visitors to our sites or making visits to customers or suppliers
- Supporting working from home, where possible
- For employees who must work onsite, we have deployed extra precautions to ensure their safety, including stringent hygiene measures and keeping a safe distance from colleagues.
The above measures remain in place until further notice. In the meantime, we will continue to work with you and support you to ensure we meet your requirements. Should you have any questions (or would just like a chat to break up the isolation) please feel free to contact us.
The Team at PPM Head Office and ViaLite Communications.
PPM Retains Gold Investor in People Standard
Pulse Power and Measurement Ltd (PPM) has again been certified the Investors in People (IIP) ‘Gold’ standard. The company has been an accredited IIP business since 2004 and first achieved the Gold level in 2016; then joining the top 14% of IIP organisations.
PPM currently employs over fifty people across its two sites on Shrivenham Hundred Business Park near Swindon. The company has continued to grow in recent years, across all four business lines: PPM Power, ViaLite Communications, PPM Test, and PPM Systems.
Lorna Fairbairn, IIP South Practitioner, said:
“PPM continues to be a recognised Investor in people organisation putting them in the top 16% [2019 figures] of all Investor in people organisations.
“They have an embedded culture of trusting and empowering people to come up with ideas and improvements. People also feel valued and appreciated for their work which is acknowledged in a number of ways. This result is testament to PPM’s ongoing effort in taking on feedback and always looking to improve.”
Investors in People is the leading accrediting body for people management in the UK. Supporting business innovation and development, they champion the ongoing recognition and happiness of people in the workplace.
Expansion for Pulse Power and Measurement
Pulse Power and Measurement Ltd (PPM), based on Shrivenham Hundred Business Park near Swindon, is expanding into a further unit on the business park following rapid growth over the last two years.
The company, which was founded in 1994, has four business lines: PPM Power, ViaLite Communications, PPM Test and PPM Systems. Further to growth across all four divisions, the company found itself requiring additional office space. The acquisition of Unit 77 met these requirements, with the property offering 2,000 sq. ft. of high quality offices, additional meeting rooms and further parking.
Martin Ryan, Managing Director at PPM, explained:
“The business has grown rapidly over the last two years and we needed more space to house the additional people and operations. We looked at potential new sites in the area but were happy to be able to co-locate our new facility on the same business park as our existing offices and manufacturing units.”
PPM expects to be settled in the new unit from the start of August. The existing PPM units (63-66) will continue to house the business’s manufacturing, production, test and stores areas, anechoic chamber, and existing offices and meeting rooms.
Bradley Forbes of Chartered Surveyors, Loveday said:
“We are delighted to have sourced a tenant for our client and wish PPM well with their expansion. It is encouraging to see businesses on Shrivenham Hundred thrive and expand.”
PPM Bake Off Raises Dough for Charities
Staff at Pulse Power and Measurement have organised a company bake off with the theme ‘British Summer Time’ to raise money for charity.
The winning entry was a selection of ten ‘ice creams’ created by Jason Le Leivre, crafted from buttercream icing on a chocolate sponge base. A wooden support for the top-heavy creations was hand-made by Jason especially for event.
“It was a fantastic bit of fun, and being a fairly recent employee, it was a great way to get involved with the PPM ‘family’, which is the kind of feeling you get working for this company,” said Jason.
Other entries included cheesecakes, a Malteser cake, a red rose cake, a cherry Victoria sponge and two tea loafs, as well as ‘ViaBite Flap-Jacklins’ baked by ViaLite Director of Sales Richard Jacklin.
With PPM matching the sum raised by the cake sale, almost £500 is being donated to the two chosen charities: the Oak and Furrows wildlife rescue centre and HelpMedina, which helps improve lives in Sierra Leone.
Staff numbers at PPM’s head office in Swindon have increased in recent years, with new positions being created at its ViaLite and PPM Power divisions.
PPM Recognised as Gold Investor in People
Pulse Power and Measurement Ltd (PPM) has been awarded the Investors in People Gold standard, joining the top 14% of accredited organisations across the UK who believe in realising the potential of their people.
Investors in People is the UK’s leading accreditation for business improvement through people management, and provides a wealth of resources for businesses to innovate, improve and grow, with a focus on good people making great business.
Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said:
“We’d like to congratulate PPM on their Gold standard. Such a high level of accreditation is the sign of great people management practice, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and shows an organisation committed to being the very best it can be. PPM should be extremely proud of their achievement.”
Commenting on the award, Amair Khan, Business Development Manager at PPM, said:
“I am very proud to be part of the organisation. It is a great team to work for, with staff that inspire each other to become leaders in their field. Working together as one team helps us achieve our global presence successfully. Thank you PPM for believing in your employees.”