Plessey Radar (Cowes, IOW)

  • Digital Design Engineer
  • Digital Engineering Team Lead
  • Signal Processing Rack Design Authority
  • ASIC Design Team Lead

Joined Plessey Radar full time in 1986 after being a sponsored student through my sandwich course in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Plymouth Polytechnic.

Having spent time in all the Techniques Groups during my sponsorship, I decided to join the Digital Techniques Group, where I stayed for the next nine years.

I worked on, and then became responsible for, the design and integration of a unique timing system for a new class of military radar.

Then I was seconded to Plessey Semiconductors where I ran a small team creating a huge (for the time!) ASIC for use in radar systems and for sale as part of their normal signal processing range. This involved most of the engineering specification, day-to-day management, and creation of the verification test routines for the production of the device. For this work I received the Plessey Radar Young Engineer of the Year award in 1988.

The PDSP16256 256 Tap FIR Filter ASIC

I then subsequently took over the responsibility for the implementation of the signal processing system for a complete new generation of an existing radar with a team that peaked at 11 engineers. A key part of this development was the development and integration of a Built In Test System (BIST), which ran whilst the radar was operational to provide real-time fault detection to LRU level.

This radar was successfully delivered to extremely tight timescales and is recognised to have been one of the most successful projects in the company at that time. This project involved me in project management and direct customer liaison for the first time.

Across the years Plessey at Cowes transformed a number of times as the company was purchased or merged.  Whilst I was there it became Siemens Plessey Systems, and after a couple of intermediate changes, it’s now BAe Systems.