Two test companies have announced the expansion of their labs: Spirent Communications and Germany-based international testing and certification company TÜV SÜD.

Spirent is expanding its facility in Paignton, England and increasing total lab space by more than 50%. The new facility was formally opened by Professor David Southwood, Chair of the UK Space Agency’s Steering Committee and the company said that the space was “created to provide increased development capacity for test systems that can evaluate the performance of multiple sensors (sensor fusion) in new applications such as autonomous vehicles and emerging positioning techniques that use multiple signals such as Wi-Fi, radar, LIDAR and vision, in addition to GNSS.” Spirent added that the larger lab “will also enable the development of test systems to make GPS and other GNSS receivers more resilient to interference – a growing problem, especially as positioning, navigation and timing features are embedded in a myriad of applications.”

“Over time the additional laboratory space will enable Spirent to recruit more staff and increase its contribution to the local community,” said Caroline Lee, human resources director for Spirent. “The company is already very active in encouraging students to pursue STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so the expanded facilities will help us to offer more opportunities in these areas.”

TÜV SÜD America, meanwhile, has a new regulatory compliance testing lab in Ottawa, Canada. A staff of 12 will operate the 23,000 square foot lab space, which TÜV SÜD said will be one of its “premier locations for safety, electromagnetic compatibility, wireless and NEBS (Network Equipment Building Systems) testing.” The location will have both 10 meter and 3 meter semi-anechoic chambers, and the company plans additional investment in wireless testing capabilities at the Ottawa location in early 2018. TÜV SÜD said that the location is the only NEBS compliance lab in the region and that it will maintain its ISO 17025 lab accreditation and Verizon Independent Testing Laboratories NEBS Testing Certification program

“TÜV SÜD has been aggressively investing and expanding in Ontario and Quebec for more than 10 years. This new lab offers our local customers a complete regulatory testing solution and aligns with our North America strategy to become the leader in wireless and EMC testing services,” said Darryl Fleger, Canadian country manager for TÜV SÜD Canada.

TÜV SÜD appointed a new president and CEO of its operations in the Americas, John Tesoro, last fall; at the time, TÜV SÜD America reported more than 1,400 employees across three dozen locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

In other test news:

TRX Systems, which specializes in mapping and geolocation information in challenging GPS environments, has updated its Neon Signal Mapper product for assessing the indoor radio frequency environment. Neon Signal Mapper uses a small wearable and an Android device for checking coverage of public safety and commercial wireless networks; the new version has improved reporting capabilities for public safety coverage compliance, with an eye on expectations for network coverage for the First Responders Network Authority network being built out by AT&T.

“The rollout of the new FirstNet Public Safety LTE network is creating an expectation of a reliable broadband network for first responder mission critical voice and data applications,” said Jeff Kunst, VP of product development at TRX Systems. “The Neon solution is already relied upon for in-building public safety radio signal mapping and will now provide building owners and RF engineers a simple and inexpensive way to document in grid format the new FirstNet Public Safety LTE coverage as well.”

Spirent Communications’ work with global design and technology company Tata Elxsi on vehicle-to-x testing showed up at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. The two companies have a partnership that was formed early last year and a testing approach that has been adopted by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology research institute. The two companies’ integrated V2X testbed, spotlighted at CES, utilizes Tata Elxsi’s V2X emulation software and Spirent’s offerings for GNSS and radio channel simulation “to bring real-world traffic scenarios into the lab.”

-The White Space Alliance said that a trial in Brazil has demonstrated coexistence of digital television signals and white-space broadband transmission. The test, conducted with Brazil’s National Institute of Communications (Inatel), is “the first formal assessment of TV whitespace application in that country,” according to WFA.

The results are published in Portuguese on WFA’s web site.

Keysight Technologies launched the third generation of its semiconductor parametric test offering, with a new per-pin test module for faster capacitance measurements and 100-pin parallel measurement capability. The company said that for the P9000 series, the new P9015A module “enables greater than two times faster single capacitance measurement with good data correlation for various type of capacitance (compared to conventional LCR meter).”

Keysight will also be hosting an investor day on March 6.

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