Radiation Systems, Inc. (VertexRSI-GDSatcom)

Radiation Systems, Inc.

Radiation System, Inc. (RSI) was based in Sterling, VA, USA. The Company designed, manufactured and installed high quality antenna systems and parts for radar, air traffic control, military and satellite communications systems. Its products were also used in tactical military communications, scientific research, TV broadcasting and civilian wireless mobile communications. After RSI was acquired by COMSAT Corp. in 1994, RSI was sold to Tripoint Global Communications, Inc. in 1997. Tripoint merged RSI with the already owned Vertex to become VertexRSI. Tripoint Global was acquired by General Dynamics in 2004 to become General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies, Inc.


Skybrokers offers for more than 10 years RSI and VertexRSI (GDSatcom Technologies) Satellite Earth Station Antennas, new as well as used. We can provide turnkey solutions, refurbishment and upgrades. We have supported several clients with new and used antennas, such as the Vertex the 6.1m Ku-band, the 7.2m C-band, 8.1m and 9.0m Ku-band, the 11.1m C-band and 16.4m antennas.
 

About RSI (VertexRSI-GDSatcom)

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History of Radiation Systems, Inc.

Radiation Systems, Inc. (RSI) was founded in 1960 and based in Sterling, VA, USA. The Company designed, manufactured and installed high quality antenna systems from 3 to 32 meters and parts for radar, air traffic control, military and satellite communications systems. RSI products were also used in Scientific research, tactical military communications, TV broadcasting and civilian wireless mobile communications.

After a decade the company became almost ruined when in 1973 the bank of Virginia forced the company to reorganize after decline of sales or lose its financing.  As a result the board had the resignations of president Robert Bawer and two of the three vice presidents. Richard E. Thomas became executive vice president and later on, in June 1978 he took over from Harold Letaw, an engineering PhD who became president in 1974.

The new management team drastically pared down RSI's product line to six antennas and employment was reduced from almost 300 at its peak in 1974, to 68 in 1975. The strategy yielded immediate resulted for the shareholders. After cutting losses to 122,000 USD on 3.3 million USD in sales in 1974, the new management team earned 253,000 USD in 1975 on a 2.6 million USD volume.

In 1976 the company formed a new subsidiary, SatCom Technologies Inc., around three top executives pirated from Scientific Atlanta, Inc.

In the 80’s, like many Washington-area firms, RSI was well positioned to take advantage of the Reagan administration's military build-up. The company hoped to gain substantial business from the military's larger communications needs and from the new emphasis on the Rapid Deployment Force.

RSI developed as a government contractor but turned increasingly to the commercial market. Reliance on the government market contributed to RSI's crisis in the 70’s.

RSI created another company strategy by selling the superior products developed for government to the commercial market. Commercial sales were just beginning to take off. US government sales were only 40% of RSI's total, versus almost 54% in 1980.

In 1988 RSI purchased the assets of the satellite communications division of Stolle Corp, a subsidiary of Aluminum Co. of America (ALCOA). Included in the sale were various tools, forming dies, fixtures, test instrumentation, sales data and inventory related to the firm’s antenna products, that were sold in Europe under the name of Alcoa Antennas and had a 45% market share.

The company completed a large contract that had helped drive growth, the installation of 9,600 antenna systems at American schools to beam television programming into classrooms. This was a part of a project led by Whittle Communications, which was one of America's top 100 media companies in the late 1980’s.

In August 1991, RSI acquired antenna maker CSA, Ltd. and PG Technology, Ltd, engaged in the design, development and production of precision tools and gauges, machine tools, and optical instruments. Both companies, located in the UK, were placed under the Satcom Technologies Division of RSI.

RSI’s new product that carried hopes of large future revenues was the Torus antenna, which resembles a rectangular plate with its ends and corners curved inward. The Torus antenna was developed by Communications Satellite Corp. (COMSAT) and could communicate simultaneously with as many as 14 satellites at once, versus the single communication link handled by a conventional dish.

Bethesda-based COMSAT picked RSI to manufacture and sell the antenna, and analysts took Comsat's action as a major endorsement of Radiation Systems. Comsat was interested in RSI that was licensed to operate a unique machine called AccuShape, the driving force behind RSI. This driving force was a patented device that could form a variety of metals to virtually any specifications the company's engineers wanted, all without heating. AccuShape allowed the production of antennas that are cheaper, easier to assemble and more precisely engineered.

In 1994, COMSAT, Corp, acquired Radiation Systems, Inc. in a 150 million USD million deal. The merger would join COMSAT with Radiation Systems, Inc, to form COMSAT RSICOMSAT decided to make this acquisition after it lost several deals because competitors, including Radiation Systems, were charging lower prices. RSI’s CEO, Richard E. Thomas, would head the new division, that targeting the wireless international markets.

In 1997 COMSAT, Corp. sold RSI to Tripoint Global Communications an affiliate of TBG Industries, Inc, a privately owned New York holding company, for 116.5 million USD. The sale of RSI was part of COMSAT’s new strategy to focus on core business of providing satellite communications services.

In 1999 Tripoint Global merged RSI with Vertex that the company already bought from Vertex, Corp. VertexRSI became a separate division manufacturing Satellite Earth Station Antennas within Tripoint Global, being a leading supplier of base station and earth station communications products and services, VSAT antennas (Prodelin) and antenna systems and wireless backhaul products (CSA-Wireless).

In June 2004 Global Aerospace and Defense manufacturer General Dynamics (GD) acquired Tripoint Global. TriPoint became part of the General Dynamics C4 Systems business unit, which is a leading integrator of secure communication and information systems and technology.

In 2015 GD combined their C4 Systems and the AIS (Advanced Information Systems) divisions to form GD Mission Systems. GDSatcom with its VertexRSI brand operates as a separate unit under the GD Mission Systems Division.




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Resources:

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www.washingtonpost.com  Edition March 14th, 1988
www.washingtonpost.com  Edition April 20th, 1992
www.nytimes.com  Edition February 1st, 1994
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