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Apr 07. Nitrogen to extend tyre life and cut running costs. Parker Hannifin says its nitrogen tyre inflation kit will extend truck tyre life by at least 50,000 miles. The firm has developed a nitrogen generation and compressor units to produce high quality compressed nitrogen. Called TyreSaver and Truck TyreSaver these offers extended tyre life from better maintained inflation pressures and better fuel consumption from reduced rolling resistance. “This means, a truck tyre inflated with nitrogen could easily go an extra 50,000 miles before the tyres need servicing,” says Parker Hannfin, which will show the technology on its stand 2251 at the CV Show. (Source: Transport News Brief)

03 Apr 07. Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. has successfully demonstrated the performance of its Future Combat Systems technologies in military exercises conducted by the U.S. Army in February 2007. The Future Combat Systems (FCS) Experiment 1.1 exercises featured a mock raid on a fictitious village and demonstrations of high-technology equipment designed to improve the situational awareness and engagement effectiveness of current and future warfighters. Among the products tested were the Tactical and Urban Unattended Ground Sensor Systems (T-UGS and U-UGS) and Intelligent Munitions System (IMS), produced by the company’s Textron Defense Systems operating unit, and Situational Understanding (SU) Analysis software developed by the recently acquired operating unit, Overwatch, Tactical Operations. Textron Defense Systems’ UGS provided real-time images to battle commanders, allowing real-time situational understanding and actionable intelligence. The IMS achieved autonomous detection and successful elimination of enemy vehicles, while Overwatch, Tactical Operations integrated software from FCS partners, provided awareness of enemy threats and battlefield damage assessment over the FCS network. (Source: ASD Network)

03 Apr 07. A BAE Systems-led team will develop a mission planning capability to more effectively deploy U.S. Marines and amphibious fleets to crisis centers around the world. The BAE Systems team, which also includes L-3 Communications and Moebius Solutions, will develop a distributed Expeditionary Operations Planning (EOP) software architecture for the Marine Corps. The software will automate the Marines’ rapid-response planning process to increase the effectiveness of the service’s Expeditionary Strike Group. Expeditionary Strike Groups are a mix of amphibious assault vehicles and Marines that provide highly mobile, self-sustaining forces for a wide variety of military missions.

03 Apr 07. Engineers unveil China moon rover. Chinese scientists have shown off a prototype Moon rover that could lead to the country’s first unmanned mission to the lunar surface in 2012. The 1.5m (5ft) high, 200kg (440lbs) rover should transmit video in real time, dig into and analyse soil, and produce 3D images of the lunar surface. Engineers have unveiled a prototype at the Shanghai institute where work on the six-wheeled vehicle is underway. Rival rovers are being developed at institutes in Beijing and elsewhere. It is not clear when the successful candidate will be selected. Engineers at the Shanghai Aerospace System Engineering Institute have created a specialised laboratory that mimics the lunar surface for their rover. Unlike the solar-rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used by the US space agency’s (Nasa) Mars rovers, the Chinese model will eventually run on a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. Such devices convert heat from a radioactive source into electricity. “We want to make it better than the early US and Russian rovers,” Luo Jian, director of the institute, was quoted as saying. With an average speed of 100m (328ft) per hour, it can negotiate inclines and has automatic sensors to prevent it from crashing into other objects, China Daily reported. Chin

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