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ON THIS DAY

21 Oct 11. Northrop Grumman Corporation is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Woodland Hills facility, which develops navigation, positioning and situational awareness products for international and domestic defense and commercial markets. The Woodland Hills site, located at 21240 Burbank Blvd., serves as the headquarters of the company’s Navigation Systems Division (NSD), which also includes engineering and manufacturing facilities in Salt Lake City; Pomezia, Italy; and Freiburg, Germany. The facility’s first building opened in 1961. Since then, the site has grown to occupy seven buildings on a 50-acre campus, which is home to more than 1,500 employees.
The Woodland Hills facility specializes in the development of inertial navigation systems and inertial sensor technologies, including fiber-optic gyroscopes, ring laser gyros and the unique hemispherical resonator gyro. These systems are used on a variety of platforms, including commercial aircraft, helicopters and ground vehicles. Employees also develop situational awareness systems, including integrated avionics systems for rotary- and fixed-wing platforms.
“We are proud to reflect on the rich history and many technological advancements that were designed right here on the Woodland Hills site during the past 50 years, from the LN-3 that was the first inertial navigation system on operational aircraft to the hemispherical resonator gyro that recently helped guide the MESSENGER spacecraft to orbit Mercury,” said Liz Iversen, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Navigation Systems Division. “We look forward to many more years of innovative products making a difference every single day—whether they’re keeping our warfighters safer or helping pilots to navigate the world.”
In the 1960s, employees at the Woodland Hills site primarily focused on inertial instruments for navigation systems. In the 1970s, along with the development of state-of-the-art gyroscope technologies, the Woodland Hills facility expanded into accelerometers.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the site’s employees pioneered the development of new inertial technologies such as ring laser, zero-lock and fiber-optic gyroscopes, which led to the fiber-optic acoustic sensor. Starting in the mid-1990s, the facility began to expand its space operations. In 2001, Woodland Hills became the headquarters of NSD. Today, the Woodland Hills facility is largely responsible for driving the company’s navigation systems business, contributing to NSD’s distinction as having more inertial navigation systems in use on aircraft than all other manufacturers combined.

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