Luxell displays set for P-3 upgrade

Engineers at Lockheed Martin who are upgrading the avionics of the U.S. Navy P-3 Orion maritime patrol turboprop aircraft needed flat-panel displays that are legible in direct sunlight. Most displays such as cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and even some active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs) wash out in intense sunlight.

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Engineers at Lockheed Martin who are upgrading the avionics of the U.S. Navy P-3 Orion maritime patrol turboprop aircraft needed flat-panel displays that are legible in direct sunlight. Most displays such as cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and even some active-matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs) wash out in intense sunlight.

After conducting a market study, Lockheed Martin designers chose thin-film electroluminescent (TFEL) displays from Luxell Technologies Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario. "What this brings to the table is a potentially sunlight-readable display that we couldn`t find anywhere else," says a Lockheed Martin representative close to the P-3 upgrade program who does not want to be named.

In the P-3 upgrade, engineers are replacing 6-by-10-inch AMLCDs with Luxell TFEL technology, which not only is more readable in sunlight than the AMLCDs they replace, but also "we believe they will be cheaper, lighter, and more reliable," says the Lockheed Martin representative.

Luxell`s Series II TFEL high-contrast displays have wider viewing angles than AMLCD - about the same as CRT - yet operate over the military temperature range of -55 degrees Celsius to 85 C. AMLCDs, on the other hand, are "not functional below zero; they bog right down," says Brian Kennedy, Luxell`s chief executive officer.

Luxell designers use "optical interference" technology to improve readability in all conditions, Kennedy says. "The incoming incident diffused light from sunlight or bright operating room lights essentially reflects back out of the display," he explains. "The light scatters and is twisted 180 degrees out of phase. Light waves come out in opposite directions so you cancel them out." - J.K.

For more information, contact Luxell by phone at 905-206-1708 or by fax at 905-206-9174.

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The 6-by-10-inch thin-film electroluminescent (TFEL) displays from Luxell Technologies Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario, have wide viewing angles, operate in temperature extremes, and are readable in direct sunlight.

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