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23 Sep 11. Cassidian, the defence and security division of EADS, has successfully concluded the modernization of the identification equipment of all German Forces’ aircraft. With the final deliveries in a multi-year modernization program, Cassidian has handed over the last tranche of its STR 2000 transponders to the German Procurement Authority BWB. In total, more than 650 transponders were delivered since 2002. The new equipment ensures the safe operation of aircraft in civilian airspace according to new requirements of the European air traffic control authority EuroControl. Transponders are a crucial element to ensure flight safety. As part of air traffic control, interrogators on the ground emit signals to request flight data from individual aircraft, e.g. on their origin, course or speed. These requests are then automatically answered by transponders located on board the approaching aircraft, so that the position of each individual aircraft can always be reliably tracked.
Military aircraft also respond to these non-military requests. In the so-called Identification-Friend-or-Foe (IFF) process, they even transmit additional data in an encrypted mode, allowing all aircraft to be unmistakably identified, e.g. during military operations. Thereby, inadvertent friendly attacks can be prevented. For this reason, military aircraft require transponders with both civil and military functions.
Cassidian has wide experience in the field of military and civil air traffic control and identification. The company has supplied numerous military identification systems for air, naval and ground vehicles to a number of armed forces, e.g. in Germany, France, Finland and Australia. For civil air traffic control, Cassidian’s identification systems are used in countries such as Austria and the Philippines.
23 Sep 11. Japan launched a new spy satellite into orbit Sept. 23, officials said, in its latest effort to beef up surveillance against the threat of North Korean missiles. The Japanese H-2A rocket carrying a new information-gathering optical satellite lifted off at 1:36 pm (0436 GMT) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan. “The rocket was launched successfully and the satellite was separated into an orbit around the earth later,” Naoki Takarada, an official of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), said by telephone from Tanegashima.
It was Japan’s latest effort to build an intelligence-gathering system following North Korea’s missile launch in 1998 over the Japanese archipelago. In defiance of international pressure, North Korea launched again what was believed to be a three-stage Taepodong-2 missile in April 2009, with an estimated range of 6,700 kilometers (4,100 miles). Japan currently has three information-gathering satellites in orbit and the latest satellite will replace one of them which has passed its use-by date.
26 Sep 11. Marl International has extended its industrial and defence LED panel indicator range with two robust series featuring exceptionally high EMC screening. One of the new LED indicators offers NVIS (Night VISion) radiance, making it suitable for use by operators wearing military night vision goggles. Marl 677 and 697 panel indicators are specifically designed to address the most demanding applications. Both series benefit from an exceptionally high degree of EMC protection, with an internal stainless steel mesh behind the lens to provide continuity of screening as well as a conductive panel seal. Sealed to IP67, the lamps are supplied in robust chrome plated aluminium housings and are fully potted for high vibration applications. They have a smoked lens to give a good on/off contrast ratio. The 677 series is offered in red, yellow, green, blue and cool white in 12V and 24V versions and has an internal reverse protection diode fitted as standard. The 6