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Sunday, August 1, 2004

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Diamond DA40 Approval

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Garmin International a supplemental type certificate for Diamond Aircraft Co.'s DA40 Diamond Star. Diamond is now authorized to deliver DA40s with Garmin's G1000 integrated avionics system, making the aircraft the first composite, single-engine piston platform with a fully integrated, all-glass cockpit. The G1000 integrates primary flight, navigation, communication, terrain, traffic, weather, and engine indication and crew alert system data on side-by-side, 10.4-inch, landscape-style primary flight and multifunction displays. The multifunction display presents all systems monitoring, flight planning and situational awareness information for rapid assimilation. Visit www.garmin.com.

Air Tahiti A340

Air Tahiti Nui has selected Thales' TopFlight avionics for its new fleet of Airbus A340-300E (Enhanced) aircraft, set for delivery in June 2005. Among the Thales systems to be installed are multimode receivers, extended quick access recorders, emergency locator transmitters, altimeters and standby horizons. Visit www.thales-avionics.com.

Uzbekistan Modernization

The Republic of Uzbekistan recently issued a $12.7-million contract to Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions for the modernization of its air traffic management (ATM) and defense systems. The company will update two of the country's radars, its radar situation displays and interfacility communications at command posts in Samarkand, Tashkent and the Khanabad air base. Lockheed also will install its SkyLine ATM system at the Khanabad aerodrome. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.

JetBlue Maintenance

JetBlue Airways has signed a 10-year maintenance agreement with Thales for its fleet of 59 Airbus A320 aircraft. The Thales products on the A320 include the electronic flight controls, navigation gear and cockpit flight display systems. Visit www.thalesgroup.com.

B7E7 Proximity Sensing

Goodrich Corp.'s proximity sensing system has been selected for the Boeing 7E7 Dreamliner aircraft. The system will sense and monitor the position of landing gear, fuselage and cargo doors, and thrust reverser components. Boeing also has chosen Goodrich's fuel quantity indicating system and fuel management software. Visit www. goodrich.com.

Primus Epic on 2000EX

Honeywell's Primus Epic integrated avionics system has received Federal Aviation Administration approval for Dassault's Falcon 2000EX EASy business jet. The 2000EX EASy is the second Falcon aircraft to be certified with Primus Epic-based avionics; the first was the 900EX EASy. Dassault also plans a third aircraft with Primus Epic-based avionics, the Falcon 7X.

The flight deck on the 2000EX EASy boasts four 10-by-13-inch liquid crystal displays in a "point-and-click environment," featuring cursor control devices, pull-down menus and interactive checklists. Highly intuitive presentations and means for data access and input are designed to enhance aircrew safety.

Honeywell also announced that Canada-based TG Aviation/Lectron Avionics will install and certify the Primus Epic Control Display System/ Retrofit on 10 Piaggio Avanti P.180s. Visit www.dassaultfalcon.com or www.honeywell.com.

College Simulator

The Metropolitan State College of Denver has selected Raytheon Canada Ltd's FIRSTplus air traffic control (ATC) simulation system for its Aviation and Aerospace Science Department. The system includes six training positions that simulate radar, two-dimensional tower, ground, procedural, terminal and en-route ATC training. Visit www.raytheon.com.

GPS Macrocells

Honeywell has introduced a family of "macrocells" for multiband military and civilian GPS applications, as well as for single-band, embedded communications devices. Macrocells are mixed-signal building blocks that enable the addition of analog and digital circuitry. They can be incorporated into three major integrated circuit processes. Visit www.honeywell.com.

Chinook Flight Control

BAE Systems Platform Solutions, Johnson City, N.Y., has been selected by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems to develop the digital flight control computer for the U.S. Army's new CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter. The digital systems eventually will replace analog systems in 300 CH-47Ds. Visit www.bae-systems.com.

Mission Data Recorders

TEAC Aerospace Technologies Inc., Montebello, Calif., announced more than $500,000 in contracts from Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland to supply its MDR-80 digital solid state, mission data recorders to the Irish Air Corps and the Bulgarian Air Force. The recorders will replace legacy video tape recorders on both groups' PC-9 trainer aircraft. The contracts also include the sale of mission data debriefing software, which enables PC-based pilot debriefing. Visit www.teac-aerospace.com.

GEMS Awarded

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has tapped Rockwell Collins as the prime contractor for a five-month study of potential solutions under the Ground Element Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network (MEECN) System (GEMS) program. GEMS is intended to replace USAF and Navy fixed and deployable communications for bomber, tanker, reconnaissance and other alert communications facilities. Some of the improvements include updated extremely high frequency (EHF)/advanced EHF satellite communications and redundant very low frequency communications paths for message traffic, ultra high frequency communications and emergency action message processing systems. The initial contract for the concept and technology demonstration phase of the GEMS program is valued at approximately $2 million. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.

GPS-Galileo Accord

The U.S. and the European Union have signed an agreement that sets the terms for interoperable, civil satellite navigation services based on GPS and Galileo, but that also protects the new U.S. military GPS signal. The Galileo system will roughly double the number of navigation satellites, dramatically improving signal availability and reliability. The "gentlemen's agreement," as one source describes it, spells out which modulations are acceptable. Both sides have adopted a common methodology for calculating the impact on the U.S. military M-Code of any proposed changes to signal structure, and the Europeans are obliged to negotiate any proposal that "trips these criteria."

The EU accepted the U.S.-proposed binary offset carrier (BOC) 1.1 modulation in the L1 band. And the U.S. agreed to incorporate the modulation in its GPS III system. The agreement also establishes a framework for future trade negotiations.

At the same time, however, the U.S. Defense Science Board commenced a top-to-bottom study of GPS's future in the context of the emerging Galileo system. Among the issues to be reviewed are: how to provide services within GPS that are attractive enough to ensure its commercial viability, possible alternatives to radio navigation, the pace and resources for civil and military modernization, and the future of GPS management within the military.

Protecting Borders

In a pilot program, a Hermes 450 unmanned air vehicle (UAV), equipped with electro-optic sensors and communications gear, will be used to supplement manned vehicles providing surveillance in southern Arizona, along the Mexican border. EFW Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Israel's Elbit Systems Ltd., will lease the vehicle to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Customs and Border Protection) for the program, which is part of the Arizona Border Control Initiative. EFW and Elbit also will provide the UAV's ground control stations, operational crews and support personnel. Flight operations are to begin this summer. The program may be expanded to include the U.S.-Canadian border. Visit www.efw.com.

EA-18G Assembly

Northrop Grumman has begun assembly of the U.S. Navy's EA-18G, the electronic attack aircraft that will start to replace the EA-6B Prowler by the end of the decade. The company plans to deliver the first EA-18G fuselage shipset to prime contractor Boeing in March 2005. Like the Prowler, the EA-18G will perform surveillance and electronic jamming of enemy radars and communications networks. Its electronic attack suite is based on the increased capability (ICAP) III system developed for the Prowler. Prowlers today transmit electronic signals over broad frequency ranges to "blind" enemy threat radars in each range. The EA-18G, however, will use software to focus jamming energy on any frequency band being used by enemy surface-to-air missile system radars. ICAP III also uses geolocation targeting to find and target radars and other electronic emitters. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.

Australian ADS-B Display

As part of Airservices Australia's quest for a low-cost automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system for general aviation aircraft, the agency has contracted Ulm, Germany-based Euro Telematik to provide its CDTI-2000 cockpit display of traffic information with accompanying software, for demonstration and evaluation. The system, which operates in connection with an ADS-B data receiver based on Mode S 1090-MHz extended squitter technology, will be delivered this autumn, according to a Euro Telematik official. Along with a panel-mount display, the company also will deliver, as a less expensive option, a display system based on off-the-shelf pocket PC technology. Both displays incorporate a moving map showing information from a terrain elevation database or from digital aviation charts. Airservices Australia plans to install 28 ADS-B ground stations to provide aircraft surveillance over Australia's vast and remote mid-country, where air traffic control radars would be costly to install and maintain. Visit www.euro-telematik.com.

UAV Standard

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International has developed an airborne sense-and-avoid (S&A) system standard for unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) operating in the National Airspace System (NAS). ASTM F2411 covers the design, performance and methods to prove compliance for systems that "would sense the presence of other aircraft in nearby airspace and would take steps to divert the UAV from the other aircraft in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements," according to an ASTM International release. ASTM's Committee F38 drew up the standard. Ryan Schaefer, an F38 Subcommittee member, says the document is "a first step down the road of getting FAA approval for UAV S&A sensors." But he adds that the standard was designed to address the overall problem of collision avoidance. Visit www.astm.org.

Thales TopOwl Tests

The Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted sight/display has passed operational tests on the French army's Tiger and U.S. Marine Corps' Cobra AH-1Z helicopters. The tests were conducted in May and June in the U.S. with the TopOwl serving as the helicopter crews' main flight control instrument. The TopOwl is a binocular helmet-mounted display and front sight that features visor projection of flight control symbology plus images from image intensifier tubes and forward-looking infrared sensors. Visit www.thales-avionics.com.

Acquisitions

BAE Systems North America has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Boeing's Commercial Electronics unit, pending reviews. The unit traditionally supplied commercial avionics to Boeing, but BAE intends to expand the business base. Visit www.na.baesystems.com

Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. has acquired Dexter-Wilson Corp. and will integrate the company into its Novatronics business unit. Dexter-Wilson produces electromechanical components and assemblies. Visit www.cwcontrols.com.

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