The advanced stand-off radar (ASTOR) ground surveillance system produced by Raytheon has passed a major operational test, and will be officially accepted by the UK Royal Air Force by September. Raytheon and British military officers lined up here yesterday to describe recent progress on a system that is, in fact, three years behind schedule.
The DOT Volpe Center’s September 10 report on the vulnerability of GPS to jamming and other interference, in addition to the events of the following day, have greatly heightened national concerns about the security of the satellite system and the degree of dependence that should be placed on it as the backbone of our future ATC system.
Boeing’s A-160T Hummingbird rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) recently claimed an unofficial world’s record for its weight class by staying aloft for more than 18 hours. In a mid-May test at the U.S. Army’s proving ground in Yuma, Arizona, the turbine-powered craft–carrying a 300 pound payload–reached altitudes of up to 15,000 feet and landed with a fuel reserve of more than 90 minutes.
After completion of a ?90 million ($139 million) development program funded by five countries for nearly six years, Europe has developed significant new technology for air-to-ground surveillance. But the work may not be fully exploited, since the intended follow-on program has been cancelled.
Less than a year after Blue Sky Network (BSN) declared at NBAA ’01 its intent to provide general aviation with more affordable satcom technology, its CEO, Jon Gilbert, is in Orlando announcing FAA certification and deliveries of airborne equipment.
DOT Secretary Norman Mineta announced last month an action plan aimed at mitigating the vulnerability of GPS to inadvertent interference and deliberate jamming, both of which were disclosed in a September 10 report by the DOT’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass.
Honeywell is now demonstrating its Inflightmail airborne e-mail service aboard the company’s Citation V. As configured, the system transmits data through the Iridium low-earth-orbit satellite network using an Airsat 1 satphone and onboard computer server.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you’ll know that barely a day passes without news that some nifty new method of accessing the Internet has been developed, not to mention a bushel full of cool new ideas about what to do once you’re online.
Some three months after an enthusiastic announcement, cabin-entertainment specialist Airshow of Tustin, Calif., and low-cost satellite data provider GlobalStar have halted development of high-speed airborne Internet services in light of GlobalStar’s increasingly desperate financial situation.
The October announcement by Raytheon that it had won a Department of Defense contract–potentially worth $25 million–to develop next-generation anti-jamming systems for GPS underlines security specialists’ concern that GPS is now “an attractive target” for terrorists.