New Products

November 15, 2010
By George I. Seffers, SIGNAL Connections
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Hybrid Helicopter Concept

The demonstrator for the X3 high-speed, long-range hybrid helicopter recently began test flights. The vertical takeoff and landing aircraft is designed to cruise at speeds in excess of 220 knots. Two turboshaft engines power a five-blade main rotor system and two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings, which offer the speed of a turboprop-powered aircraft and the full-hover flight capabilities of a helicopter. The concept is tailored to applications where operational costs, flight duration and mission success depend directly on the maximum cruising speed. The aircraft is designed for a range of missions, including special forces operations, troop transport, combat search and rescue, medical evacuation long-distance search and rescue missions, Coast Guard duties, border patrol missions, passenger transport and intercity shuttle services. Initial testing will continue through December. After a three-month upgrade, Eurocopter-built X3 will resume flights in March with the goal of reaching sustained cruise speeds in excess of 220 knots. 

Test Range Interference Detection

The SigMon Radio Frequency Interference Detection and Geolocation system now includes an advanced broadband direction finding capability that can locate transmitters in both frequency hopping and time division multiple access networks. The new features are particularly useful for military test range operations in the United States and abroad. With SigMon, test range operators are able to proactively detect, geolocate and eliminate sources of radio frequency interference before the interference causes operational issues. The system’s automated monitoring network enables more comprehensive spectrum management and reduces mission delays and interruptions. SigMon’s open architecture affords operators a broader range of capabilities and enhanced system flexibility. In addition, SigMon, which is produced by Integral Systems, can be managed from a central location to allow remote operation of assets in isolated or hazardous locations and provide real-time data analysis and mapping of radio frequency emitters.

Ruggedized Switch Assemblies

Custom Ruggedized Switch Assemblies are designed for use in ruggedized computers, communications systems, munitions systems, hand-held devices, imaging systems, flexible flight suit communications equipment and more. These switch assemblies are made to meet demanding military specifications, including nuclear, biological and chemical environments. Introduced by EASTPRINT, the Custom Ruggedized Switch Assemblies for military applications can include membrane and rotary types in a wide array of shapes, sizes, layouts and finishes with special actuation forces. Featuring polyester and Kapton circuits, Paralyne hard coatings, cast aluminum housings, electromagnetic interference shielding and other required materials, sealed switches can also be fabricated in a variety of thicknesses and built to comply with international arms trade regulations.

Guided Sniper Rounds

Between Iraq and Afghanistan, the need for trained snipers has increased dramatically, but their accuracy is limited by changing winds, muzzle velocity dispersions and round-to-round variations. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program aims to maximize the effectiveness of sniper teams while improving their safety. The agency is developing a guided round capability in a .50 caliber platform, which will allow snipers to engage targets moving at much greater speeds, at longer ranges and in tougher environmental conditions. It is designed to compensate for environmental effects and target motion while dramatically reducing the engagement timeline. The program recently completed its first phase by achieving a successful proof of concept with a high-fidelity hardware-in-the-loop simulation. Phase II will build and test a complete system, including the required optical sighting equipment and guided .50 caliber projectiles. Although intended for use by snipers, this technology is directly applicable to larger calibers as well as vehicle, ship- and airborne-mounted systems. Teledyne Scientific and Imaging has been tasked for Phase II development and demonstration of a complete EXACTO system.
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