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————————————————————————08 Jun 12. Northrop Grumman Corporation completed a series of test flights May 17 that demonstrated the transmission of imagery, video, voice and digital messages using a pod-based airborne communications system. The SmartNode Pod is based on the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) technology that allows real-time information to be exchanged among many different military and commercial radios and relays full-motion video – a critical capability for deployed warfighters. Northrop Grumman’s Firebird aircraft flew the pod during the demonstration effort at Mojave, Calif. Firebird is an optionally piloted aircraft that operates multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) payloads simultaneously. “By using proven technology developed for the BACN program, the lightweight SmartNode Pod is ready to mount on many different military aircraft and provides a much-needed capability controlled by the deployed commander,” said Claude Hashem, vice president of Network Communications Systems for Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “The pod can connect to the high-altitude BACN platforms, ground operational centers or other pods for beyond-line-of-sight connectivity and access to high-level ISR and command and control information.”
03 Jun 12. Following the company’s recent announcement of three new rugged single board computers (SBCs) based on quad core 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ processors, GE Intelligent Platforms announced that dual core versions would also be available. As well as supporting the quad core Intel Core i7-3615QE processor, the SBC625, XVR15 and XCR15 will also be offered with the dual core Intel Core i7-3555LE and Intel Core i7-3517UE processors. The SBC625, XVR15 and XCR15 bring substantially increased processing power, graphics capability, I/O bandwidth and functional density to customers developing and deploying demanding industrial and mil/aero applications. These include command/control, ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance), radar/sonar and signal processing. These six new platforms – which are 100% compatible with their predecessors – will deliver up to 15% greater computational horsepower, and up to 50% improved 3D graphics performance. Some of these new COTS boards offer support for USB 3.0 and provide up to 10x the data transfer throughput of USB 2.0. Power consumption/heat dissipation are identical to those of preceding products, providing attractive performance/watt and making the new boards ideal for environments that are SWaP (size, weight and power) constrained. The SBC625, XCR15 and XVR15 – designed for 6U VPX, CompactPCI® and VME systems respectively – are available in five build levels, from benign (air cooled) to fully rugged (conduction cooled).
06 Jun 12. The U.S. Air Force successfully completed a flight test March 21st of a MALD®-J (Miniature Air-Launched Decoy) with a composite fuselage, or casing, produced by Cobham integrated into the airframe. This test successfully met all EMD-4 flight test objectives conducted at Eglin Air Force Base, FL and qualifies the MALD®-J Program to continue into Operational Test. Cobham developed the innovative, low cost manufacturing process for MALD® at its facility in Suffolk, VA. MALD is a state-of-the-art, low-cost flight vehicle that is modular, air-launched and programmable. It weighs less than 300 pounds and has a range of approximately 500 nautical miles (about 575 statute miles). Currently integrated on the B-52 bomber and F-16 fighter aircraft, MALD can be certified on any aircraft with a 14-inch suspension carriage. Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ is the prime for the MALD program. Cobham is responsible for the composite fuselage under contract to Raytheon.
“This is an important program, and this successful testing milestone represents a significant step in achieving a fully