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Equipping The Romanian Army—An ETL Systems case in point
By Dominic Overton, Component Sales Manager, ETL Systems


Founded in 2001, Solhard Technology AKH is a service and equipment provider within the Romanian IT and Telecommunications market.

The company mainly covers the design and integration of communications and information systems. Solhard also provides industrial and defence equipment and is a systems integrator for the defence market.

VSAT Terminals

With a great deal of knowledge and understanding of communications systems as well as the unique pressures and challenges of the defence industry, Solhard was recently awarded a contract with the Romanian Ministry of Defence.

The project involved delivery of multiple VSAT terminals and a framework agreement that spans a period of three years.

With the requirement to provide 60, 1.2 meter transportable satellite communications terminals, Solhard needed a range of products to solve several distinctive challenges.

The project needed to be rolled out in a timely manner and the terminals had to be ready to be easily used upon delivery and installation.

Uncovering Challenges
As with any project of this size, Solhard had to integrate equipment from various providers. As the work started, the company uncovered a variety of challenging issues.

There were a number of elements required for the project that included...

• The distribution of RF signals from the antenna terminals to the modems
• Insertion of an external 10MHz reference signal on to the transmission line with the ability to attenuate the power level to avoid any damage to the equipment
• To provide power on to the receive chain










ETL Systems’ Model SRY-TR-L1-931 is an IP65 rated, outdoor, VSAT Fiber StingRay chassis.

Solhard initially contacted ETL Systems to provide splitters and combiners to handle the satellite feeds. However, having quickly realized the vast range of the company’s RF distribution solutions, Solhard presented their issues to ETL’s components team to determine how many of these challenges could be resolved through the use of ETL’s products.

Catalin Bordei, CTO, Solhard, commented, “I contacted ETL Systems as I was aware of the company and its reputation for high quality RF products. I knew they could provide the splitters and combiners. However, I was delighted to realize that they could help with more than just the one issue.”

Overcoming Challenges
The RF components team at ETL Systems was able to quickly suggest solutions that would resolve all of the previously mentioned issues with the goal of improving RF signal distribution within the VSAT system.

As well as combiners and splitters, ETL Systems provided multiplexers to take the external 10 MHz reference signal on a separate port and multiplex that signal to the L-band RF port, with attenuators integrated to enable Solhard to lower the power level when needed.

Power supply units were implemented to provide DC power to the amplifiers and modems, as well as bias tees, which allow the user to inject DC on the RF line using those power supplies.

Solhard is now able to monitor the network effectively using a 20dB coupler from ETL, providing a lower power sample of the signal on a designated coupled port.

Finally, ETL Systems also supplied Solhard with terminators to ensure that the performance of the system would not be adversely affected, for example, by signal reflections and unwanted harmonics.

Once the solutions were selected, they were quickly and easily installed and integrated into the VSAT terminals, providing peace of mind to the Romanian Army through the support of ETL’s reliable solutions and continual service.

Catalin Bordei, CTO, Solhard, added, “I was thoroughly impressed by ETL Systems. It was extremely valuable for us to find one provider that could solve all our issues. The customized nature of the service and products was even more impressive, giving me the impression that the equipment was tailor-made, just for me and the technical support was on hand whenever I needed it. ETL is not just providing RF products, but also delivering new capabilities.”

Dominic Overton, Components Sales Manager, ETL Systems, added, “Solhard has undertaken a massive project for the Romanian Army. Combining different solutions is never easy, especially when the end result has to be nothing short of perfect. We were of course pleased to be able to help and we were thoroughly impressed with its dedication and attention to detail.”


The author is Dominic Overton, the Component Sales Manager at ETL Systems