The Thales-led Watchkeeper program is on schedule for entry into service with British forces in 2010, having flown for the first time this year in Israel, where Elbit Systems designed and produced the Hermes 450 WK platform. Designated Hermes 450B, it will have a dual payload comprising gimbaled electro-optical/infrared cameras plus a laser target designator, together with a radar in a second gimbaled pod.
Moog has acquired QuickSet International, a manufacturer of precision positioning systems and pan-and-tilt mechanisms. The products are used to position surveillance cameras, thermal imagers, sensors and communication antennas.
An official at Dassault Falcon Jet revealed to AIN last month that the French airframe maker is negotiating with MaxVis of Portland, Ore., to develop an enhanced vision system (EVS) for Falcons equipped with HUD. The infrared package is to be a nose-mounted, uncooled, dual-frequency unit with a ±15-deg forward view matching the standard HUD conformal-viewing angle.
Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract valued at some $20 million to supply Hermes 450 UAV systems to an unnamed European country. The order specifies both air vehicles and complementary ground systems, for delivery next year.\
A “major bizjet manufacturer” will announce here at the NBAA show that it has selected CMC Electronics’ SureSight enhanced vision system (EVS) for inclusion on one or more of its aircraft, according to a spokesman.
Navigance, a consortium of several security equipment manufacturers and service providers, has added features to its Safe system. Now available are a written security manual from Aircraftsman; an online real-time weather product from Weather Decision Technologies that can forecast hail and lightning; and a large-screen interactive electronic “white board” from Cleveland Corporate Services.
Powered by quiet motors and armed with conventional and infrared cameras and other specialized sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming more and more attractive to law-enforcement agencies. Not surprisingly, both the FBI and the Office of Homeland Security are investigating how they might use UAVs for covert surveillance of suspected criminal or terrorist activity in the U.S., by night and day and in all-weather conditions.
Plano, Texas Police threatened to close the airspace over future news events after helicopters from nearby television stations disrupted their attempts to end an armed, 12-hour standoff in March. Police said noise from orbiting television stations’ news helicopters hampered tactical officers’ ability to communicate with the suspect.
Some FlightSafety International students will start evaluating a prototype biometric student identification card at the company’s facility in Vero Beach, Fla., where much foreign-airline ab initio training is conducted. The card, developed by the National Air Transportation Association, contains a photograph and fingerprint of the student.
The U.S. is pushing ahead with a plan to share Global Hawk data and operations with Pacific Rim countries, but has still to define the scheme. Gen.