In Brief

June 1, 2006

THAAD radar performs well in flight test

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) radar built by Raytheon in Tewksbury, Mass., performed flawlessly in a flight test by the Missile Defense Agency at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Raytheon officials say. The test demonstrated the first fully integrated radar, launcher, fire control, and missile operations and engagement functions against a simulated target. The THAAD radar, developed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), accomplished all test objectives, including communicating with the in-flight THAAD missile. Track and discrimination reports were successfully transmitted between the THAAD radar and fire control. Performance of the fire control software, jointly developed by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, was also completely successful. Lockheed Martin is the THAAD prime contractor and system integrator. Raytheon’s THAAD radar is a phased array, capable of search, threat detection, classification, discrimination, and precision tracking at extremely long ranges.

NCSA to add MATLAB/Simulink capability to SRC’s computing systems

Officials at SRC Computers Inc. in Colorado Springs, Colo., have entered into a joint development agreement with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Under the agreement NCSA will develop software and processes that will enable programmers in the embedded systems and signal processing communities to write programs using MATLAB/Simulink for use on SRC’s reconfigurable computing systems. The result of the collaboration will describe in detail how to use MATLAB/Simulink, Xilinx DSP System Generator, and the SRC Carte programming environment macro capability to implement Simulink fixed-point designs on SRC’s reconfigurable MAP processors. NCSA will be using SRC’s newest portable MAPstation product in its development work. Originally developed for the Air Force for use in mid size UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), SRC’s portable MAPstation is a compact general purpose COTS (commercial off the shelf) processor that typically performs operations such as radar processing, image processing and spectrum analysis 100 times faster than a microprocessor. The lightweight airborne enclosure weighs less than four pounds and has a maximum power consumption of 86 watts, 40 watts typical. For more information visit

Army I-GNAT ER UAS achieves 10,000 combat flight hours

Officials at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in San Diego announced that their Army I-GNAT ER unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has reached a record 10,000 combat flight hours on a total of 858 combat missions. The milestone was achieved by AI-005 while it performed a routine surveillance mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Flying a total of more than 700 hours a month between two deployment sites, the Army I-GNAT ER family of three combat aircraft achieved 10,000 combat flight hours four years earlier than even the company’s flagship Predator UAS. Positioned as a cost-effective, long-endurance tactical reconnaissance system to support ground troops, the initial Army I-GNAT ER aircraft were deployed in March 2004, only six months after contract award. Fielded aircraft are also being integrated with SATCOM capability to allow for beyond line-of-sight control. The Army I-GNAT ER is fully contractor-supported, with 11 company crewmembers at each site. For more information visit

Colombian firm deploys Savi RFID-based information solution

To enhance visibility, management, and security of Colombian container shipments, Emprevi Ltd. is deploying SmartChain Transportation Security Solution (TSS) from Savi Technology in Sunnyvale, Calif., which leverages real-time information from active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies. Savi TSS will help Emprevi to generate new business opportunities and enable its customers to cut costs, improve inventory management, decrease safety stock, and reduce the potential for drug trafficking and smuggling, theft, loss, or terrorist intrusions, company officials say. Emprevi Ltda. (Empresa de Prevencion y Vigilancia Ltda.) is a Colombia-based provider of logistics and security services for importers and exporters, including major U.S.-based public companies in the pharmaceutical and healthcare, consumer product goods, food and beverage, transportation, and logistics services industries. Emprevi plans to integrate Savi TSS into a new Emprevi service offering called, “Global Trade Control,” which will provide its clients with continuous online monitoring of cargo containers and their contents, and rapid detection and deterrence of potential security breaches. For more information on Savi visit

ECA order index rebounds in April

The monthly order report compiled by the Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA) rebounded nicely in April from a slight dip in March, association officials in Arlington, Va., say. The 12-month average index that shows the market movement over the past year continued its steady rise. The healthy market picture indicated by the ECA index was supported by participants at last week’s Electronic Distribution Show (EDS) in Las Vegas, who predict growth equal to or better than that recorded in 2005. “One of the major factors contributing to the market’s consistent growth is capital investment by corporations,” says Bob Willis, ECA president. “Many companies have reaped the rewards of greater employee productivity and are now turning to new equipment and technology to spur further productivity improvements. The market will most likely retain its cyclical nature, but this continuing growth in the corporate sector should add a steadying influence.” The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA) represents manufacturers and producers of passive and active electronic components, component arrays and assemblies, and materials and support services. It is a sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA). For more information visit

Northrop Grumman receives contract from FAA to upgrade air traffic control radars

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials have selected Northrop Grumman to modify transmitters on 135 ASR-9 air traffic control radars. This will provide cost-effective enhancements in performance and operational availability, while reducing operation and maintenance costs.” Every major airport in America has an ASR-9 radar built by Northrop Grumman,” says Tom Chrzanowski, director of FAA Air Traffic Management Systems at Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector. “All told, these radars enable air traffic controllers to monitor the arrival and departure of more than 90 percent of all domestic air traffic, and provide important air surveillance information over major metropolitan areas for homeland security and defense. The transmitter modification will simplify the process by which the ASR-9 generates a tracking pulse. The modification will reduce potential outages and costs, while providing a modular framework for potential future enhancements. Minimizing present radar operational costs will help enable the transition toward the next-generation air traffic control system.” This $40 million award is the latest in the FAA’s multiphase, ASR-9 sustainment program, intended to extend the service life of the ASR-9 through the year 2025.

JEFX 2006 Near Space Experiment uses GGI Technology

A new user-friendly analysis and visualization software tool built on technology by Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) in Exton, Pa., was featured in a key network-centric demonstration at the Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX) 2006 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The SkySAT demonstration is a high-altitude hydrogen balloon that acts as an over-the-horizon communications relay for UHF/VHF tactical radios. This joint U.S. Army/Air Force project examines operations at an underused altitude layer called Near Space and employs AGI’s 4DX Embedded Technology software to display the balloon’s flight and access to radio communications in a 3-D common operating picture. 4DX tailors AGI’s flagship product, STK, for the project. “During the past several spirals of JEFX ’06, AGI and the Army Space and Missile Defense Battle Lab-West have worked toward developing an operator’s tool to analyze and visualize Near Space operations,” says Paul Graziani, AGI president and chief executive officer. “We’re proud that it will help demonstrate what the experiment has shown: Combat SkySAT’s ability to extend line-of-sight communications by a factor of 40.” For more information see

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