Saturday, January 1, 2011
Lifesaving Choices: Enhancing Performance and Safety
Founded in 1966, HR Smith (Technical Developments) Ltd. quickly forged an unrivaled reputation for delivering advanced and efficient airborne antenna systems. Used by military and commercial operators alike, current products span the entire range of airborne radio frequency applications including digital and voice communications, navigation, surveillance and direction finding. A major area of recent development has been that of electronically-tuned communications antennas. These innovative devices offer very low-profile characteristics and outstanding broadband performance of a level normally seen only from antennas much greater in size.
In 1978, the sustained growth of HR Smith Group was augmented by the formation of Techtest Ltd. Although initially formed in response to market demand for radio frequency test equipment, Techtest was soon to expand into the field of search and rescue, and is now globally acknowledged as a unique and successful supplier of total SAR solutions for the aviation market. Central to Techtest’s product portfolio is the highly successful ETSO-approved Series 503 ELT incorporating the 406 MHz COSPAS-SARSAT satellite distress frequency. Designed for civil and military applications, Techtest ELTs now equip a wide range of helicopters, commercial airliners and military aircraft, including fast-jets. Techtest also pioneered the development of the deployable 406 ELT system for maritime aircraft, and is now the primary supplier to the UK’s offshore industry. Most recently, the deployable ELT was upgraded to provide FDR memory capability allowing flight data to be downloaded from the recovered beacon.
Meanwhile, individual aircrew safety is comprehensively served by Techtest Series 500 personal locator beacons (PLBs). Featuring integral GPS and 406 MHz, these beacons are compact and lightweight, and offer a wide selection of frequency and speech options, including covert encrypted modes for military applications. This extensive range of Techtest emergency transmitters is complemented by a flexible, modular range of homing and decoding equipment including 406 MHz identification and locating. For the future, Techtest will soon launch a new high-resolution direction finding system which will further aid safety by allowing rescuers to resolve multiple beacon scenarios.
HR Smith Group remains committed to its aim of delivering practical and cost-effective radio frequency systems and, through its comprehensive product portfolio and extensive in-house capabilities, delivering tailored solutions to meet the demanding needs of aviation and survival markets alike. ■