Product Application Design Solutions

March 1, 2000
Systems designers at Northwest Airlines needed a display system for their Airport Surface Management System at the Detroit airport. They found their solution in the active-matrix liquid crystal displays from Image Systems Corp. of Minnetonka, Minn.

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Northwest Airlines chooses Image Systems display

Systems designers at Northwest Airlines needed a display system for their Airport Surface Management System at the Detroit airport. They found their solution in the active-matrix liquid crystal displays from Image Systems Corp. of Minnetonka, Minn.

Image Systems delivered displays for the Datalink Delivery Taxi Clearance System, developed by Northwest Airlines and ARINC of Annapolis, Md. This system helps airport officials move passenger jets in and out of passenger gate areas as quickly as possible.

The first installation became operational on 20 Dec. 1999 at the Northwest Ramp Control Tower and at the Federal Aviation Administration control tower at Detroit airport. The Northwest Ramp Control implements one high-bright flat panel monitor and one Hewlett Packard workstation. The air control tower uses four flat panels and three Hewlett Packard workstations with communications via datalink to airline Ramp Control centers.

"The Datalink Airport Surface Management System pushback and expected taxi clearances will expedite airline departures and gate arrivals to reduce aviation fuel costs by shortening the time the engines are running," says Kirk Davidson, manager of flight technical programs at Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis.

Monitors from Image Systems are part of several other air traffic control applications, including the Raytheon STARS program, the Computer Science Corp. Departure Sequencing Program, and the Naval Air Systems Tower Control program, company officials say. - J.K.

For more information, contact Image Systems by phone at 612-935-1171, by fax at 612-935-1386, by post at 6103 Blue Circle Drive, Minnetonka, Minn. 55343, or on the World Wide Web at

Communications equipment

Navy chooses Harris multiband voice radios

Officials of the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego needed multiband voice radios for a variety of military operations. They found their solution in the Falcon II AN/PRC-117F(C) multiband/multimission radio from the Harris Corp. RF Communications Division in Rochester, N.Y.

Harris will deliver radios to SPAWAR under the Navy Enhanced Manpack Field Radio program. If SPAWAR exercises all contract options, the job to Harris could be worth more than $6 million, Harris officials say.

The AN/PRC-117F(C) radio operates between 30 and 512 MHz in the VHF-low, VHF-high, and UHF bands. It covers public safety and ground-to-air frequencies, as well as military ground-to-air and satellite frequencies. Officials of the U.S. National Security Agency have certified the radio to pass voice and data at security levels through top secret, Harris says.

"The U.S. Navy chose Harris's AN/PRC-117F(C) because it offers the best value and most cost-effective multiband radio solution for the desired features," says Vic Popik, the Navy's deputy program manager for advanced automated tactical communications systems."

The Harris radio has Demand Assigned Multiple Access capabilities - better known as DAMA, has embedded Type 1 encryption, and is interoperable with other U.S. military radios such as the PSC-5 (DAMA), the PRC-119 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System - better known as SINCGARS - and the PRC-113 Have Quick. - J.K.

For more information contact the Harris RF Communications Division by phone at 716-244-5830, by fax at 716-244-2917, by post at 1680 University Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14610, or on the World Wide Web at


G&H actuators fly on Terra satellite

Non-explosive actuators from G&H Technology in Camarillo, Calif., performed solar array and antenna deployment functions aboard NASA's new-generation, Earth-observing satellite Terra.

Terra launched in December 1999 to monitor the global environment and to provide early detection of wildfires, hurricane formations, volcanic eruptions, and other catastrophic events. When the satellite attained its orbit, mission-critical G&H model 1203 actuators initiated deployment of the 30-foot gallium arsenide solar array and high-gain antenna.

Designers selected the electromechanical actuators over conventional pyrotechnic devices because of the need to minimize shock and vibration aboard the spacecraft.

The model 1203 is a high-load release mechanism that uses internal jaws to lock onto a ball-rod end, restraining high-tensile loads until released by an electrical command signal.

The actuator has a 12,000-pound operating load capacity, is resettable, and produces virtually no debris or imparted shock during deployment, G&H officials claim. During tests, release of a 10,000-pound load resulted in maximum shock of 1,200 Gs at 10,000 MHz, they say.

The G&H device has an operating temperature range of -148 to 266 degrees Fahrenheit (-100 to 130 degrees Celsius). The actuator's construction is of space-rated materials resistant to atomic oxygen and other elements. The devices are EMI, ESD, and EMP resistant, with no external shielding required. - J.M.

For more information on the Model 1203 or G&H contact Brian Davies by phone at 805-484-0543, by fax at 805-987-5062, by mail at G&H Technology, 750 West Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, Calif. 93010, by e-mail at [email protected], or on the World Wide Web at

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