Flat panel LCDs to replace CRT displays on Shuttle fleet

The NASA Space Shuttle, designed in the 1970s, has undergone a series of electronics upgrades to take advantage of new technology. Now, NASA officials are finally getting rid of the shuttle`s cathode ray tube (CRT) displays in favor of flat panel displays developed at Honeywell Satellite Systems of Glendale, Ariz.

Mar 1st, 1998

The NASA Space Shuttle, designed in the 1970s, has undergone a series of electronics upgrades to take advantage of new technology. Now, NASA officials are finally getting rid of the shuttle`s cathode ray tube (CRT) displays in favor of flat panel displays developed at Honeywell Satellite Systems of Glendale, Ariz.

Honeywell officials in December delivered the first 11 Multifunction Electronic Display Subsystems (MEDSs), which are patterned after the company`s liquid crystal displays used in the Boeing 777, to the Boeing Orbiter Major Modification Facility in Palmdale, Calif., for installation on the Shuttle Atlantis. As a subcontractor to Boeing, Honeywell designers will outfit all four Shuttle orbiters with the new displays: nine on the forward flight deck for use in navigation and landing, and two on the aft deck to support payload operations.

Atlantis is scheduled to fly with the new displays next January. In the meantime, Honeywell officials are due to ship the MEDS for Columbia by July and have all flight units delivered by the end of the year. Spare parts will be delivered next year. The company also is under contract to deliver similar displays for use on the International Space Station to enable astronauts to interface with a robotic arm. - J. R.

For more information on MEDS, contact Andy Engelhardt, director of program development at Honeywell Satellite Systems, by phone at 602-561-3482, by fax at 602-561-3683, or by mail at 19019 N. 59th Ave., Glendale, Ariz. 85308.

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