Press Release

Altium Sponsors X-Ray Astronomy Satellite Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
October 24, 2005
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Altium Supports Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division

Altium Limited, a leading developer of Windows-based electronic product development software, is pleased to announce a sponsorship for Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division. Under the sponsorship deal, Altium will equip the research team with its revolutionary Altium Designer system, which unifies electronic design by integrating board-level design, FPGA-level system design and embedded software development within a single application. Altium’s world-class Global Customer Care team will support the researchers as they develop the Institute’s advanced X-ray astronomy satellite, MIRAX.

“Altium is committed to promoting innovation in electronics design and development,” said Nick Martin, founder and CEO, Altium. “This sponsorship is an exciting opportunity for Altium to continue our commitment to supporting and equipping electronic designers and engineers with electronic product development solutions to meet the design challenges that complex and innovative projects, such as MIRAX, demand.”

MIRAX (Monitor and Imager of X-rays) is an approved mission of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), and is being undertaken by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The Engineer and Space Technology Division of INPE is responsible for the satellite platform whereas the launch will be provided by AEB. This will most likely be performed using the Brazilian satellite launch vehicle VLS.

The MIRAX scientific instruments currently being developed by the Space and Atmospheric Sciences Division of INPE consist of three X-ray cameras. The detector technology for MIRAX must be flight tested via stratosphere balloon. The team must develop a test detector that will be integrated into a balloon platform, with the entire detector system to be flown at 40km above the atmosphere where stellar X-rays can be seen. The balloon platform electronics need to be developed rapidly, and with semi-space reliability. The team will rely on Altium Designer to meet these challenging project goals. The balloon flight is scheduled for the second half of 2006.

“The Altium Designer system provides some unique capabilities that I believe will assist our team to complete this project successfully within the challenging deadlines,” said Dr. Joao Braga, head of the Space Institute’s Spatial and Atmospheric Science division. “The unified nature of Altium Designer and its interactive design flows will make the development process faster and easier, and we are extremely pleased to have Altium support this project so generously.”

Details of the sponsorship package were presented to the Institute by Altium’s Board Director, David Warren. It consists of four Altium Designer Unified Nexar-Protel licenses, four NanoBoard-NB1 development breadboards, four each of Xilinx Spartan III and ACTEL Flash 600K daughter boards, and access to extensive high-level support via Altium’s Global Customer Care team.

This sponsorship package follows a similar sponsorship for the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Tasmania, Australia, announced in April 2005. One of the largest corporate sponsorships to date for the School of Mathematics and Physics, Altium donated cash, software, hardware, and support to the University of Tasmania Foundation. This donation was to support the development and completion of two projects — a radio transient detector and high-bandwidth interferometer. Both projects relate to advanced radio astronomy research being undertaken at the School of Mathematics and Physics.

For more information on Altium Designer, please visit

About Altium Limited

Altium Limited is a global developer and supplier of electronics design software for the Microsoft Windows environment. Founded in 1985, Altium released the world’s first Microsoft Windows-based printed circuit board design tool in 1991, and continues to provide advanced, easy-to-use and affordable software design tools for complete electronic product development to electronics engineers, designers, and developers worldwide. Altium’s products offer tailored solutions covering a range of hardware and software design processes and include Altium Designer (which includes Unified Nexar-Protel, Nexar, Protel, CAMtastic, CircuitStudio and Viewer Edition licensing options) plus P-CAD and TASKING brands.

Altium is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with sales and support offices in Australia, the United States, Japan, China and Europe — as well as maintaining a large reseller network in all other major markets. Prior to August 6 2001, Altium Limited traded as Protel International Limited.

For more information please visit

Altium, Altium Designer, CAMtastic, CircuitStudio, Design Explorer, DXP, LiveDesign, NanoBoard, NanoTalk, Nexar, nVisage, P-CAD, Protel, Situs, TASKING, and Topological Autorouting and their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Altium Limited or its subsidiaries. All other registered or unregistered trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners, and no trademark rights to the same are claimed.


Altium USA Media Contact:

Stephanie Mrus
800 West El Camino Real Ste. 400
Mountain View, CA 94040
Telephone: +1 650 968 4033
Fax: +1 650 968 2201
Email: Email Contact

Corporate Media Contact:

Alana Epple
Altium Limited
Level 3, 12a Rodborough Road
Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086
Telephone: +61 2 9975 7710
Fax: +61 2 9975 7720
Email: Email Contact

SpaceRef staff editor.