COTS software helps maintain ARSR-4 air traffic control radars

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A facilities-management software package originally developed for financial management is enabling Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials to troubleshoot their ARSR-4 long-range radar sites.

Apr 1st, 1998

By John Rhea

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A facilities-management software package originally developed for financial management is enabling Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials to troubleshoot their ARSR-4 long-range radar sites.

The software does this by locating a failed electronic line replaceable unit and then telling the technician where spares are available within an FAA region.

The package, known as ARSR-4 Visual Image Manager (AVIM), is based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software originally developed at Aperture Technologies Inc. in Stamford, Conn.

Typical applications of the Aperture software include real estate management, facilities management by such large corporations as Electronic Data Systems and Booz Allen Hamilton, and by the Boston Stock Exchange for stock trading.

Leaders of Rannoch Corp., a military and space systems-integration company in Alexandria, Va., have entered into a strategic partnership with Aperture to resell the product to the FAA and other aerospace customers.

"We add value by taking vanilla software and tailoring it to the user," says Rannoch president Alex Smith. Rannoch gets paid for the software installation, about $10,000 per site, and Aperture gets a license fee.

Last September Rannoch received a contract from the FAA to install the COTS software package at eight ARSR-4 sites in the agency`s Southwest region - Deming, N.M.; Eagle Peak, King Mountain, Rocksprings, Oilton, and Morales, Texas; and Lake Charles and Slidell, La. - plus an extra installation a the regional head- quarters in Fort Worth. Texas.

A similar package had been installed previously at the FAA`s Washington area air traffic control center in Leesburg, Va.

The AVIM package is also applicable to on-board aircraft systems, according to Smith, and is used to link records in a relational database with a graphic depiction of each record. It also enables technicians to tie directly into service manuals via an electronic link.

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