International Report

AMS Snares ATC/Airport Business

The Anglo-Italian joint venture company Alenia Marconi Systems (AMS) has announced new contracts with respect to the provision of instrument landing systems (ILS) for the US Air Force, a Doppler weather radar for South Korea's Meteorological Administration and two Advanced Surface Movement Guidance Control Systems (A-SMGCS) for Italy's Ente Nazionale di Assistenza al Volo (ENAV - Air Traffic Services Provider). Looking at these in the order given, the USAF deal is valued at more than US $3 M and covers the supply of 16 Model 2100 ILS units for use at air bases across the continental US. Developed with US Federal Aviation Administration participation, AMS describes the Model 2100 architecture as having been approved for Category I (60 m decision height, 800 m runway visual range), II (30 m decision height, 400 m runway visual range) and III (200 to 50 m runway visual range) operation and as being available in multiple configurations featuring a wide variety of antenna arrays. AMS further notes that since its launch in 1998, it has supplied in excess of 75 such ILS units to more than 20 customers around the world. Alongside the Model 2100 equipment, AMS is also under contract to supply the USAF with 136 ILS localiser antennas during the period 2000 to 2004 and provide complete depot support for such equipment on a 24/7 basis.

The Korean weather radar deal involves AMS's German subsidiary AMS (GEMATRONIK) GmbH in the supply of a single example of its S-band (2 to 4 GHz) Meteor 1500S klystron Doppler weather radar. Designed to modernise and consolidate Korea's countrywide network, the new equipment forms part of an ongoing strategic programme that is scheduled to see one obsolete radar within the network being replaced every one to two years until the entire architecture has been upgraded. Besides providing aviation safety data, the described infrastructure supports the early detection of extreme weather and the cited Meteor 1500S unit is to be delivered during the course of 2003. With regard to the system's use of klystron technology, AMS claims that such an approach offers enhanced phase stability, better clutter rejection and second trip echo recovery.

The ENAV award is valued at approximately 9 M and involves AMS in the provision of two A-SMGCS architectures for use at Turin-Casella and Venice-Tessera (both in Italy) airports. Designed for complete control over airport ground movements (including both aircraft and ground vehicles), A-SMGCS makes use of multiple sensor inputs to provide appropriate guidance and planning to facilitate the maintenance of safe aircraft separation values and approved movement rates under all weather conditions. As such, the capability can provide gate-to-gate functionality when it is integrated with en-route and approach systems.

As applied to Venice-Tessera, the architecture will comprise an A-SMGCS Level 1 surveillance system, an X-band (8 to 12.5 GHz) surface movement radar (SMR), auxiliary data recording and playback facilities, the necessary civil works to install it and logistic support to maintain it. For its part, the Turin-Caselle application comprises a Level 2 A-SMGCS surveillance system (including a surface anti-collision function), an X-band SMR, a Global Positioning System-based airport vehicle management system, auxiliary data recording/playback and control/monitoring facilities, necessary civil works and a logistics support package.

Alongside these cited programmes, AMS also notes that it has successfully completed factory acceptance tests of 70 percent of the software it is using in an air traffic control (ATC) system that it is supplying to Bulgaria. Worth approximately 30 M, the architecture being supplied includes a 66 position operations centre for Sofia International Airport, a test/development tool, an ATC training simulator, an Intranet data dissemination system and appropriate air/ground voice communications channels. Belonging to AMS's SATCAS-2000 family of ATC management systems, the Bulgarian application is further noted as incorporating 25 servers and more than 100 latest generation displays.

EADS to Upgrade Brazilian Orions and Modernise Greek Air Defence Radars

The Fuerza Aerea Brasilia (FAB - the Brazilian Air Force) has awarded the European Aeronautic, Defence and Space (EADS) Co. Spanish arm - EADS-CASA - a contract covering the upgrading and modernisation of nine recently purchased ex-US Navy Lockheed Martin P-3A maritime patrol aircraft. Elsewhere, the company's Ulm, Germany-headquartered Systems and Defence Electronics business unit has been awarded an approximately 25 M contract covering the modernisation of 11 L-band (1 to 2 GHz) air defence radars operated by the Hellenic air force.

Looking at these in the order given, sources suggest that the main thrust of the Brazilian effort is the replacement of the aircraft's existing onboard tactical system with EADS-CASA's Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) architecture and the installation of new anti-submarine warfare, radar, electronic support and forward-looking infra-red sensors. Other proposed enhancements include a new Thales developed integrated cockpit, a Link 11 data link package and new navigation equipment. Under the deal, EADS-CASA personnel will carry out the necessary upgrade work in conjunction with the FAB and local industry. The first upgraded aircraft (designated as a P-3BR) is expected to take approximately 30 months to complete. Once in FAB service, the type will be used to patrol and police Brazil's maritime Exclusive Economic Zone and to provide a long-range search and rescue capability.

For its part, as noted previously, the Greek programme involves 11 radars that were originally procured during the period 1979 to 1986 and includes the introduction of state-of-the-art semi-conductor transmitters, improved countermeasures resistance and new signal generation, receiver and evaluation sub-systems. The power modules for the new transmitters are to be produced in Greece and the upgrade is expected to keep the radars in service for 15 years over and above their original service lives.

ACCESSNET®-T Wins Russian Approval

Russia's Ministry of Information and Communications (known by the local acronym MINSVIAZ) has issued Rohde & Schwarz (R & S) subsidiary BICK Mobilfunk with permanent certification for its ACCESSNET®-T terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) system. Previously, each TETRA network proposed for a Russian application has had to be tested and approved separately, with the system components requiring pilot operation approval and special import licensing. The new ACCESSNET®-T agreement provides unrestricted certification for the system, thereby allowing it to be set-up and operated anywhere within the Russian Federation without repeat official testing and approval. Individual applications require customers to operate an ISO9000 (or higher) compliant management system and the specific system elements are checked for technical specification compliance by an approved body (in this case, Russia's SONIIR Institute). A significant component of the described blanket approval was R & S's ability to demonstrate its equipment's compliance with Russia's SORM telecommunications monitoring standard.

Royal Philips Adds Low Power Application to its Bluetooth™ Portfolio

Netherland's contractor Royal Philips Electronics has added a comprehensive, low power Bluetoothª solution to its portfolio in order to facilitate enhanced product functionality within voice and data applications. As such, the architecture comprises Philips' PCF87752 Blueberry™ DATA baseband integrated circuit (IC), its BGB101 TrueBlue radio module and an associated software package. Within this amalgam, the PCF87752 IC is described as combining low power consumption levels with 224 Kbytes of embedded flash memory and a USB 1.1 interface with an embedded transceiver. As such, it is billed as supporting a wide range of discrete radio ICs and modules. For its part, the BGB101 module is noted as being a pre-qualified, fully tested, plug-and-play device that incorporates all the necessary radio frequency components and measures 89 mm2 .