Litton to upgrade machinery monitoring system on U.K. navy ship

Engineers at Litton Marine Systems in Charlottesville, Va., are upgrading an ISIS 2500 alarming monitoring and condition assessment system on the U.K. supply ship RFA Fort Austin

Oct 1st, 2000

Engineers at Litton Marine Systems in Charlottesville, Va., are upgrading an ISIS 2500 alarming monitoring and condition assessment system on the U.K. supply ship RFA Fort Austin. The ISIS 2500 will replace the existing monitoring system on the ship. The system will consist of four ISIS 2500 workstations, with seven distributed alarm units monitoring more than 650 sensor points throughout the ship, including the Sulzer main engine, alternators, exhaust gas temperatures, bearing temperatures, lube oil pressures and temperatures, water pressures, and miscellaneous plant sensors, Litton officials say. The system will provide the crew with trend analysis and performance monitoring so they can modify and create custom graphic displays. The ISIS 2500 is software running on Windows NT 32-bit operating system. For more information contact Litton Marine by phone at 804-974-2000, by fax at 804-974-2259, by post at 1070 Seminole Trail, Charlottesville, Va. 22901, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.litton-marine.com/. — J.K.

DRS advances infrared sensor components for Army vehicles

Leaders of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) at Fort Monmouth, N.J., are looking to engineers at DRS Technologies to develop a second-generation forward-looking infrared sensor for combat vehicles. CECOM officials awarded an $11.8 million contract to the DRS Sensor Systems unit in Torrance, Calif., and DRS Optronics unit in Palm Bay, Fla., to provide engineering services and source development work for these sighting systems.

These infrared sensors, which will help Army gunners and surveillance experts see at night, in smoke, and in bad weather, are to go on the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank system enhancement package; the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle; and M1025 and M1114 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. Each of these new sensors has a common electronics unit and optomechanical assembly called the B-Kit, which goes into the Bradley's Improved Acquisition System sight. The Abrams M1A2 SEP uses the same B-Kit within a thermal receiving unit and a binocular image-control unit for the upgraded DRS-produced Thermal Imaging System, which is mounted in the gunner's sight. For more information contact DRS on the World Wide Web at http://www.drs.com/. — J.K.

Harris to provide fire control for Army Multiple Launch Rocket System

Systems designers at the Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control division in Dallas needed electronics to help aim the newest version of the Multiple Launch Rocket System weapon, better known as the MLRS. They chose Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla., for the job. Lockheed Martin awarded Harris a $20 million contract to build the Improved Fire Control System (IFCS) electronics for 39 U.S. Army MLRS M270A1 launchers. The MLRS M270A1 deploys 12 surface-to-surface rockets or two Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles. Harris will provide four line replaceable units that improve the accuracy, speed, and reliability of the 39 MLRS launchers. The Harris-manufactured electronics — Launcher Interface Unit, Power Switching Unit, Fire Control Panel, and Weapon Interface Unit — will also increase the types of munitions that the MLRS can fire, once the system is fielded. For more information contact the Harris Government Communications Systems Division by phone at 321-984-6650, by fax at 321-984-6663, by post at P.O. Box 37, Melbourne, Fla. 32902, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.harris.com/. — J.K.

Pennsylvania researcher patents explosives-detection system

Gary Settles, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., is patenting an explosives-detection device that looks similar to the metal detectors that airline passengers must step through on their way to their departure gates. The device, which Settles calls a "portal," samples the human thermal plume — a layer of air warmed by human skin that rises from a person's ankles to his head and carries microscopic flakes and other particles. This human thermal plume also carries trace amounts of the materials with which the person has been in contact — such as chemicals from weapons, bombs, or illegal drugs, Settles says. For more information contact Settles by phone at 814-863-1504 or by e-mail at gss2@psu.edu. — J.K.

Astrolink satellites to use new TRW low-noise amplifier downconverter

Systems designers at Astrolink International LLC in Bethesda, Md., needed miniaturized radio components to improve the messaging capability of their future constellation of communications satellites. A new low-noise amplifier downconverter from the TRW Space & Electronics Group in Redondo Beach, Calif., is meeting their needs. The TRW downconverter detects and converts signals from the satellite's antennas at 30 GHz to lower frequencies that are easier to process electronically. Astrolink's satellites operate in Ka band and receive signals from earth at 30 GHz and transmit to earth at 20 GHz. The low-noise amplifier downconverter is packaged as an integrated microwave assembly, housing several TRW gallium arsenide integrated circuits designed for Ka band operation. The unit has low-noise amplifiers, filters, voltage regulators, frequency converters, low-loss redundancy switches, and frequency multipliers, TRW officials say. The low-noise amplifier downconverter also has built-in voltage regulators and needs only one DC power supply. TRW is an equity partner in Astrolink. — J.K.

Army chooses Motorola for Joint Services Work Station

U.S. Army officials are tapping Motorola Inc. of Scottsdale, Ariz., to produce a real-time, multi-sensor battle-management system that uses the same software as the ground station for the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System — better known as Joint STARS. Officials of the Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) at Fort Monmouth, N.J., awarded Motorola a $49.7 million contract to deliver the Joint Services Work Station Production Program, or JSWS, which acquires, processes, displays and disseminates information from several different real-time sensors. The system uses software that interfaces with communications equipment for secure radio, satellite, and landline communications. For more information contact Motorola on the World Wide Web at http://www.motorola.com/General/index.html. — J.K.

Northrop Grumman chooses DRS to house submarine acoustic warfare control system

Leaders of the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector in Baltimore needed an enclosure for a system processing unit for the Submarine Acoustic Warfare Control System, a next-generation international torpedo defense system being developed by Alenia Marconi Systems. They found their solution from the DRS Technologies Inc. Laurel Technologies unit in Johnstown, Pa. Northrop Grumman awarded DRS a $1.1 million contract to do the job. DRS Technologies recently opened a 130,000 square-foot manufacturing center in Johnstown, Pa. DRS is certified to ISO-9002 and AS-9000 quality standards. For more information contact DRS on the World Wide Web at http://www.drs.com/. — J.K.

Lockheed Martin evaluates Navy plane with Linux NetworX computer cluster

Test and measurement specialists at Lockheed Martin Corp. in Bethesda, Md., needed a powerful multiprocessing computer system to help them evaluate the remaining service life of the U.S. Navy EP-3E four-engine reconnaissance turboprop aircraft. They used computer-clustering technology from Linux NetworX in Sandy, Utah. Engineers from Linux NetworX use the Linux operating system to build computer cluster systems, which link many different computers through high-speed networks to form one powerful system. The powerful R-Cluster helps Lockheed Martin experts compute the aerodynamic loads on the EP-3E aircraft as part of the Navy's Service Life Assessment Program — better known as SLAP, a fatigue damage estimate and operational availability evaluation. "We are extremely pleased with the products and services we've received from Linux NetworX," says Jeff Layton, senior engineer at Lockheed Martin. "We are seeing a 40-times greater price-to-performance ratio over our past system and can now test and model four-times as many analyses in the same amount of time." For more information, contact Linux NetworX by phone at 801-562-1010, by fax at 801-568-1010, by post at 8689 South 700 West, Sandy, Utah, 84070, by e-mail at info@linuxnetworx.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.linuxnetworx.com/. — J.K.

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