Integrating communications' systems components: 10-Gigabit network attached sensor processing platforms for secure data
D-TA Systems Inc.
September 03, 2010— Ottawa, Ontario
Proud team showing D-TA equipment
In the intelligence and defence industries, the ability to access information and process it quickly and securely is vitally important. Developing the communications hardware that can meet that need requires particular expertise – expertise that Ottawa-based D-TA Systems Inc. brings to the table.
D-TA Systems is a small private company, established in 2007 by CEO Angsu Rudra, an electrical engineer, and Dr. Dipak Roy, a renowned Ottawa entrepreneur and investor. Together, they recognized an opportunity for a niche business that would help the defence and intelligence industry drastically reduce the time and cost to deploy sensor interface and processing systems. By integrating hardware, software and firmwave, the company created a 10-Gigabit (Gbit) network-attached sensor processing sub-system, that enables D-TA's customers to receive, process and analyze signals through multiple antennas, or channels. The sub-systems can then be linked through Ethernet, allowing their customers to transmit and process massive amounts of data extremely rapidly.
D-TA's customers use these components in a variety of systems, including phased-array radar, smart antenna base stations, shallow water and mine sonar, signal intelligence, electronic surveillance, and direction-finding devices.
The company now offers a range of sensor interface and processing solutions to address different applications. For example, one platform is for radio and radar applications and another addresses sonar and acoustic applications. D-TA's customers can customize the platforms for their specific – and often classified – needs.
Previously, customers working in these fields had to build their own equipment by trying to integrate multiple off-the-shelf components to create the capacity required to receive and process sensors and signals. When they changed their computer systems, they had to consider the impact of a system upgrade on their data. Moreover, integrating multiple components was cumbersome and hindered quick deployment of systems. D-TA's products solve that problem.
One of D-TA products
“Our solutions allow our customers to seamlessly upgrade their computing horsepower without worrying about what's going to happen to the data acquisition front end they have used,” says Rudra. “People can upgrade easily, and it doesn't affect the security of their data and doesn't require more software development or system integration.”
Rudra and his fellow engineers at D-TA work closely with Defence Research Development Canada and US defence laboratories to tailor their product for specific applications.
“We have very close customer interaction,” Rudra says.
D-TA also worked closely with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). NRC-IRAP's contribution helped to finance D-TA Systems' market research and fast-track product development, creating five technical jobs along the way.
“It leverages the amount of money invested from personal funds here,” says Rudra. “NRC-IRAP’s faith in the company was almost equally important. The fact that they believed this will be successful – that was a very important validation. We engineers can dream about things, but there has to be a market reality. Obviously if NRC-IRAP contributes, that is a strong vindication of your idea.”
The Ottawa company has also benefitted from the advice and contacts with allied companies that the NRC-IRAP industrial technology advisor has made available, Rudra says.
Rudra is also grateful for the financial structure that NRC-IRAP's reporting requirements create.
“The financial reporting requirements of the NRC-IRAP funding allowed us to develop structured financial and administrative capabilities that were extremely valuable during our growth phase,” he says. “They also enabled us to file our taxes and obtain the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits very smoothly.”
Overall, Rudra believes the emphasis the NRC-IRAP program places on Canadians’ ability to commercialize R&D and use it to generate revenue is a good investment for the whole country – and for D-TA Systems.
“We are getting extremely positive reactions from our customers as well as initial sales,” he says. And that's the bottom line.
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