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Friday, July 1, 2005

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Maps for A400Ms

Airbus Military SL has contracted EADS Defence Electronics to equip the A400M military transport aircraft with a digital map generator system. The system will be installed in the 188 aircraft for which Airbus has firm orders. Visit www.eads.net.

A320 Trainer

Alteon Training, Renton, Wash., has selected the Aerosim A320 virtual procedure trainer for its training center in Brisbane, Australia. The trainer will join an Aerosim A320 flight management and guidance system that was installed in February. Visit www.aerosim.com.

Seagull Acquisition

Sensis Corp., Dewitt, N.Y., has acquired all the assets of Seagull Technology, an engineering firm that specializes in transportation and control system technology. The company's Campbell, Calif.-based facility has been renamed the Sensis Corp. Seagull Technology Center. Visit www.sensis.com.

ATC Contract

Barco has signed a three-year maintenance contract worth about $1.2 million with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Barco will provide service on all ISIS and tower control displays in the air traffic control centers in Beijing, Shanghai and Ghuangzhou. Visit www.barco.com.

Smoke Detection

Boeing has chosen Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. to provide cargo compartment smoke detectors for the airframer's program to convert 747-400 passenger aircraft to freighters. Visit www.cwcontrols.com.

Stratellites Over Satellites?

Sanswire Networks, a Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based company, has successfully floated and tested its new, hard-framed, solar-powered airship, Sans-wire One. The airship represents a new breed of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), or Stratellites as the company calls them, which will be used as stationary airborne platforms for transmitting wireless communications services. The Stratellites will take up fixed positions in the stratosphere, 65,000 feet (roughly 13 miles) above the Earth and connect broadband and wireless phone signals to an area of about 300,000 square miles, or approximately the size of Texas.

The airships hold their position through the use of six onboard GPS units connected to an autopilot system. While in the air, the Stratellite will move to one corner of its designated "box" in the sky and power down. The stratosphere's natural wind current will carry the airship to the other corner of the designated area, at which point the GPS units will alert the autopilot system. The autopilot will power up the engines and carry it back to the original position to begin the cycle again. Sanswire will monitor the position and functions of each Stratellite from its operations center on the ground.

These high-altitude airships work much like satellites but are less expensive to build and launch, according to the company. They also avoid the line-of-sight limitation of ground-based cellular towers.

In the future, Sanswire plans to launch several Stratellites over the United States to create a national wireless broadband network. It also is proposing that the U.S. government and military use Stratellites for secure communications, border control, remote sensing, battlefield control and surveillance. According to a company spokesman, one Stratellite over Iraq could give military forces a more capable communications infrastructure at a cheaper cost than current communications. The Stratellites are slated for flight testing at Edwards AFB, Calif., with cooperation from NASA, FAA and the U.S. Air Force. Full-scale commercial versions of the Stratellite are expected to be available early next year. Visit www.sanswire.com.

F-16 Upgrade

The U.S. and Turkish governments have signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for a systems upgrade of the Turkish F-16 fleet. The Block 40 and Block 50 aircraft will be given a common avionics configuration that will include the APG-68(V)9 multimode radar, color cockpit displays and recorders, core avionics processors, a joint helmet-mounted cueing system, Link 16 data link, interrogator/transponder, integrated precision navigation, an electronic warfare system, and compatibility with new weapons and targeting systems. Lockheed Martin will be the prime contractor on the program, titled Peace Onyx III, with TUSAS Aerospace Industries carrying out kit installation. The LOA's estimated value is $1.1 billion for Lockheed Martin and worldwide F-16 suppliers. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.

Greek Order

The Cyprus Airways group, which includes Cyprus Airways, Eurocypria Airlines and Hellas Jet, has placed an order with Los Angeles-based Teledyne Controls for its AirFASE software and Wireless GroundLink. AirFASE is a flight data analysis and reporting software suite that assists pilots with flight operations, safety management and aircraft maintenance programs. It will be used to add a flight data monitoring capability to the group's safety management system. The Wireless GroundLink quick access recorder will be used by Hellas Jet to wirelessly record and transmit its flight data. Visit www.teledyne.com.

Dreamliner EFB

Boeing has chosen Astronautics Corp. of America, Milwaukee, Wis., to supply the electronic flight bag (EFB) for the B787 Dreamliner. The B787 will be the first Boeing aircraft to offer dual Class 3 EFBs as standard equipment. Along with providing maps, charts and other documentation, the devices instantly calculate ideal takeoff speeds and engine settings, and are capable of interfacing with cabin surveillance systems. Visit www.boeing.com and www.astronautics.com.

A380 Components

Sagem SA of Paris has awarded Barco a contract for onboard maintenance terminals (OMTs) and terminal processing units (TPUs) to be installed on the Airbus A380 airliner. Barco now will have five avionics units in the A380 cockpit: two TPUs, one OMT and two onboard information terminals, which are being developed under an earlier contract. The units will play a role in the airliner's network server system, developed by Sagem. The new contract could have a value of $36.6 million over the lifetime of the A380. Visit www.barco.com.

Danish AIR

The Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) has selected the advanced integrated recorder (AIR) by Formation Inc., Moorestown, N.J. for six air bases in Denmark. The systems will fulfill the RDAF's voice recording requirements by recording ground/air/ground communications via VHF and UHF radios, as well as ground communications by telephone lines. The RDAF's requirements also include instant access to critical communications, online hard disk storage for 31 days, and the elimination of daily tape changes. Deliveries of the system will take place in early summer. Visit www.formation.com.

Raptor Radar

Northrop Grumman has delivered an enhanced radar system to the U.S. Air Force for its F/A-22 Raptor program. The AN/APG-77(V)1 radar, which is a next-generation variant of the active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar, incorporates advances made on radar systems for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Block 60 F-16 aircraft. The radar allows for the integration of a new software suite, with which pilots can conduct electronic warfare missions and attack fixed and moving ground targets in all weather, day or night. Integration testing will begin this summer at Edwards AFB, Calif. Visit www.northropgrumman.com.

LAAS Update

FAA has given Honeywell a $4.5 million contract to update its Category I local area augmentation system's (LAAS') satellite-based precision approach aids for airports. Honeywell will provide hardware and a software update that incorporates a new set of system integrity algorithms into the prototype SLS-3000 Beta-LAAS ground systems at Memphis international airport in Tennessee. LAAS ground stations monitor the accuracy of navigation signals from GPS satellites and transmit correction signals to GPS systems in nearby aircraft. The new algorithms will monitor and alleviate disturbances in the GPS signal-in-space, which could affect the correction signals broadcast by the ground station. Honeywell and FAA will spend the next 18 months implementing the algorithms and conducting flight tests. Visit www.honeywell.com

TCDL Antenna

L-3 Communications Systems West, Salt Lake City, has selected TECOM Industries Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., to provide tactical common data link (TCDL) ground terminal antenna systems for operational demonstrations scheduled for this year. L-3 will use the TCDL to connect tactical unmanned air vehicles and ground control stations, and provide capabilities for information-gathering and dissemination missions. Visit www.tecom-ind.com.

Traffic Generation

Airbus will use Adacel's Traffic Generator air traffic control (ATC) simulator for the research and development of cockpit human-machine interface and aircraft systems. Based on the company's MaxSim ATC simulator, the Traffic Generator will simulate air traffic for multiple Airbus applications, creating real-life scenarios that will be used in the development and evaluation of aircraft components. Visit www.adacel.com.

Tailwind STC

Rockwell Collins' Tailwind 550 satellite television system has received supplemental type certificates (STCs) for installation on the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) and the B767-200, -300 and -400 series of aircraft. The Tailwind 550 is a fuselage-mounted, multiregional system that brings more than 450 channels of satellite television to aircraft flying over the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland completed both of the initial installations. Visit www.rockwellcollins.com.

Army IDM

U.S. Army Aviation has awarded an $8.5 million first-year option to Innovated Concepts Inc., McLean, Va., to develop the next generation of the Army's improved data modem (IDM) operational flight program software. The IDM is a tactical router/modem that provides a data link between air and ground units. The option brings the value of the five-year contract to $17.1 million. Visit www.innocon.com.

C-TAC Support

The U.S. Air Force's Electronic Warfare Systems Group at Robins AFB, Ga., has contracted ITCN Inc., Dayton, Ohio, to provide engineering support services for its computer tester analyzer controller (C-TAC) systems. The C-TAC systems will be used to develop operational flight programs for the AN/ALR-69, AN/ALQ-135, AN/ALQ-155, AN/ALQ-172 and the Royal Saudi Air Force AN/ALQ-135 radar systems. ITCN will provide support in-plant and at the Electronic Warfare Avionics Integrated Support Facility and the Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program facility at Robins AFB. The contract covers one year and includes three one-year option periods. Visit www.itcninc.com.

UAV Systems

Aerosonde North America Inc., Aerosonde Pty. Ltd. and Lockheed Martin have established a multi-national strategic alliance with the intent to produce unmanned air vehicle (UAV) systems. Under the agreement, Lockheed and Aerosonde will build, integrate and test UAV systems for customer demonstrations and trials. Lockheed also will purchase Aerosonde aircraft, mission systems and services to be used during the trials and demonstrations. Visit www.lockheedmartin.com.

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