Italy’s Elettronica has entered the last phase of development of its directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for the anti-missile protection market, and is due to complete ground tests and flight trials by the end of 2009. The project was launched in 2007 to create a system that would protect aircraft from infrared-guided (“heat-seeking”) surface-to-air missiles, and in particular, man-portable air defense systems.
Airborne Law Enforcement Services (ABLE) of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, Calif., will be the first customer for FLIR Systems’ Ultra 9HD airborne thermal imaging system. An Ultra 9HD mounted on one of ABLE’s EC 120s is on display at FLIR’s Heli-Expo booth (No. 3928).
Last week Sagem successfully conducted the third and final qualification test firing of its “one-meter” class armament air-sol modulaire (AASM) modular air-to-ground weapon. The earlier “ten-meter” class AASM, with GPS guidance, has been used in Afghanistan by Rafale fighters. The one-meter weapon adds imaging infrared guidance for greater accuracy.
As part of the FAA’s Nexcom initiative to develop next-generation digital datalink radios for general aviation, Avidyne last month announced it has successfully demonstrated a VHF datalink (VDL) Mode 3 radio at the FAA’s technical center in Atlantic City, N.J. Touted as the first-ever test of a commercial VDL-3 device, the demonstration was an important milestone for the FAA as it strives to create a radio network for the 21st century.
An official at Dassault Falcon Jet revealed to AIN last month that the French airframe maker is negotiating with MaxVis of Portland, Ore., to develop an enhanced vision system (EVS) for Falcons equipped with HUD. The infrared package is to be a nose-mounted, uncooled, dual-frequency unit with a ±15-deg forward view matching the standard HUD conformal-viewing angle.
Electromagnetic (EM) compatibility testing, which has become increasingly important with the advent of new technologies such as fly-by-wire controls, the saturation of airspace with high-frequency EM emissions and the decision by some airlines to allow mobile phone calls aboard their aircraft has prompted Alenia Aeronautica to build Europe’s largest anechoic chamber.
A “major bizjet manufacturer” will announce here at the NBAA show that it has selected CMC Electronics’ SureSight enhanced vision system (EVS) for inclusion on one or more of its aircraft, according to a spokesman.
Total Aircraft Services is exploring the possibility of STCs to install BAE Systems’ Matador infrared missile countermeasure equipment on corporate jets such as the Global Express and BBJ. The system uses modulating IR lamps to disarm shoulder-launched heat-seeking missiles.
The FAA has awarded an initial $20.5 million contract to ITT Industries aerospace/communications division to provide the agency with multimode VHF digital air-to-ground radios as part of its next-generation air/ground communications system (Nexcom). If all options are exercised, it could be worth as much as $580 million.
Darkened streets, tops of buildings and open areas at night–once the bane of police forces–are no longer safe refuges for lawbreakers as increasing numbers of law-enforcement aviation units adopt infrared technology for covert criminal surveillance, tracking and subsequent capture. AIN recently visited FLIR Systems, one of the world’s leading infrared equipment developers and manufacturers, at its facility in Portland, Ore.