European companies, especially in the East, are continuing to refine passive ground-based technologies with the potential to detect stealth aircraft. The best known of these is the detection and correlation of emissions from aircraft–such as from radars, radar altimeters and other navigation devices–using ESM/ELINT techniques, sometimes known as passive emitter tracking (PET).
Federal officials, as well as Maine state police officers, are still trying to locate the person or people using a portable transceiver to jam the Unicom frequency at Central Maine Airport of Norridgewock (KOWK), 27 miles north of Augusta. The interference began about two weeks ago. Federal officials believe someone is deliberately holding down the transmit key on the portable transceiver, effectively blocking radio communications for nearby aircraft.
Garmin’s touchscreen GTN series GPS/navcoms have been optimized for helicopters, with new features that eliminate the need for operators to install the fixed-wing GTN version in helicopters. The new helicopter-optimized GTN comes in five configurations that meet vibration and temperature testing standards and offer optional NVG compatibility and optional H-Taws.
Acknowledging the pervasiveness of personal electronic devices (PEDs) such as tablet computers and electronic readers, the U.S. FAA will form an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to study airline procedures governing their use in flight and to issue recommendations on the potential for relaxing the restrictions. Scheduled to convene this autumn, the ARC will consist of representatives from the “mobile technology” and aviation manufacturing industries and groups representing airlines, pilots, flight attendants and passengers.
Data Link Solutions (DLS), a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, has been awarded a $5.5 million contract to provide multifunctional information distribution system–low- volume terminals (MIDS-LVTs) to the Republic of Korea Air Force. The terminals will be installed on F-16 fighters in Wayne, New Jersey, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The work will continue through 2014.
Rockwell Collins (Booth Q79) has announced that China Eastern Airlines has selected a range of the company’s avionics to equip 50 Airbus A320 aircraft that are on order for delivery later this year. Separately, Hainan Airlines has ordered radars and other equipment for its fleet of 47 new A320s.
One of the supreme ironies of the ongoing LightSquared saga is that the company’s efforts to promote its nationwide email initiative are not helped when emails about its own activities, written by U.S. government bureaucrats, become public under Freedom of Information legislation.
LightSquared is coming under pressure from several separate directions, as opponents to its plans provide more specific support to their positions on legal, financial and technical issues. And in the background, a telecom industry heavyweight with whom LightSquared hopes to form an alliance wants clarity by year-end.
After LightSquared made statements that it has a “legal right” to build a network of terrestrial 4G broadband transmitters in the U.S., the Coalition to Save Our GPS last Thursday stepped up its attack of the company’s plans.
To the puzzlement of the GPS community and independent radio propagation experts, the FCC ruled on September 13 that LightSquared should conduct further tests of its signal transmissions on its alternate, lower L-band frequency farther removed from the GPS frequency. Tests on a LightSquared frequency closer to GPS earlier this year produced extreme interference.
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