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18 Jun 07. Northrop Grumman Corporation and its teammates L-3 Communications, Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corporation have successfully conducted the first in-flight communication’s link with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. The Radar Common Data Link (R-CDL) represents the most advanced concept and approach in providing a high-speed pipeline to offload data and imagery from a tactical platform. R-CDL uses the AESA radar’s fire control transmitter and antenna to perform high-data rate, two-way communications at long ranges. Synthetic aperture radar map imagery and streaming video were relayed from a Northrop Grumman BAC 1-11 test aircraft to an L-3 Communications ground station. During the mission, the team transmitted and received in full duplex at 274-megabits per second burst rate. The airborne and ground terminals used off-the-shelf, L-3 programmable modems with the addition of a new R-CDL waveform. This capability complements tactical data links and supports potential future missions conducted by the Lockheed Martin fifth-generation fighter aircraft. This will allow pilots to relay important combat information to the global information grid (GIG) in seconds.
19 Jun 07. QinetiQ conducts rolling Harrier landing trials on French carrier. QinetiQ’s VAAC Harrier undertakes payload boosting landing trials on the French carrier Charles de Gaulle as part of a JSF-programme. QinetiQ and the MOD Joint Test and Evaluation Group, which comprise the UK Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre, are currently undertaking a series of landing trials of a short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft on to the French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle carrier, using QinetiQ’s Vectored-thrust Aircraft Advanced Control (VAAC) experimental Harrier.
18 Jun 07. QinetiQ speech recognition technology allows voice control of aircraft systems. A QinetiQ technology that allows any pilot to control aircraft systems by voice command has successfully completed a new round of flight trails on a UK Army Air Corps Gazelle helicopter. QinetiQ’s Direct Voice Input (DVI) system facilitates the direct-voice-input control of avionics equipment using standard aircrew helmet microphones and intercom and is speaker independent, meaning that the system does not need to be trained to recognise a specific user. It gives aircrew the ability to control aircraft systems using voice commands and access information without removing their hands from the flight controls or their eyes from the outside world. The system has been developed to help alleviate the demands on pilots presented by an increasing amount of technology in modern aircraft cockpits. Too much of a pilot’s time can be spent looking “head-in” rather than “head-out” during sorties due to the advent of multi-function displays with menu structures many tiers deep. QinetiQ’s speaker independent system means more time with hands on flying controls which is particularly important for single pilot operations or where one pilot is flying and another is performing a tactical role.
20 Jun 07. Northrop Grumman Corporation recently completed its first test flight of an enhanced targeting capability for the U.S. Air Force’s E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) from its facility here. The flight of the Joint STARS test aircraft demonstrated the next generation tracking capability offered by Northrop Grumman-developed Data Fusion System(tm) (DFS) and related system improvements to the Joint STARS radar and navigation subsystems. The flight was conducted under the Enhanced Land Maritime
Mode/Affordable Moving Surface Target Engagement/Advanced Radar Modes (ELMM/AMSTE/ARM) upgrade contract awarded to Northrop Grumman late last year. During the ELMM first flight, crews demonstrated precision and long-term tracking of maritime targets, maintaining an automated track of a maritime target for over