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EDITED BY BRUCE D. NORDWALL

EDITED BY BRUCE D. NORDWALL
Articles
PARTICLES FROM SOLAR FLARES WILL CONTINUE 

PARTICLES FROM SOLAR FLARES WILL CONTINUE to threaten electronics in space and in high-altitude aircraft, and can cause serious anomalies and even losses, particularly when the solar maxima exceed anticipated design limits. Discovery of some new problems during the solar maximum in October and November 2003, along with the vulnerability of candidate electronics for NASA spacecraft, will be discussed at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) annual International Nuclear and Space-Radiation Effects Conference in Atlanta on July 19-23.

THE ROLE OF GROUND TESTING TO AVOID EFFECTS 

THE ROLE OF GROUND TESTING TO AVOID EFFECTS of atmospheric radiation has been pushed to a level of greater importance by the increasing number of commercial and emerging technology avionics. Application-specific integrated circuits (Asics) had been generally thought immune from SEE, but McLean, Va.-based Innovative Concepts Inc.'s Radiation Effects Group will report on tests using cyclotrons at Texas A&M and Indiana universities that show destructive SEE on bipolar transistors from both heavy ions and protons.

RTCA'S FREE FLIGHT STEERING COMMITTEE 

RTCA'S FREE FLIGHT STEERING COMMITTEE has been replaced by a new RTCA organization, the Air Traffic Management Advisory Committee (Atmac). The FAA is soliciting ideas from the new committee as it wrestles with the need to link its operating and capital investment budgets--a linkage that will shape the modernization of the nation's air traffic control system. Investments will have to be driven by benefits and funds availability on the government and industry sides, and both must be in sync.

VOICE RECOGNITION SYSTEMS 

VOICE RECOGNITION SYSTEMS now in use for ATC simulation and training could lead to operational applications. Early voice recognition systems lacked a number of capabilities, including a sufficiently large vocabulary, understanding rapid speech delivery, speaker "independence," and the ability to understand context and respond--telling why a command is incorrect or cannot be executed. Adacel overcame those problems with ATC tower simulators it has delivered to the U.S.

BOEING SAYS ITS BUSINESS JET 

BOEING SAYS ITS BUSINESS JET was the first noncommercial aircraft equipped with the Future Air Navigation System to cross the North Atlantic on May 24. Commercial FANS-equipped aircraft have been transmitting their GPS positions automatically via satellite data links, and communicating with controllers since tests began in the mid-1990s (AW&ST Sept. 4, 1995, p. 28). Benefits include faster communication and the ability to take more direct routes.

HONEYWELL WILL DEVELOP AN ALL-WEATHER 

HONEYWELL WILL DEVELOP AN ALL-WEATHER traffic-alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) that USAF C-17s will be able to use for formation flying. The Formation Flight System will provide all the anticollision capabilities of the current TCAS and surveillance out to a 100-naut.-mi. range, as well as assistance for formation flight. The crew will be able to adjust system functions through the C-17's mission computer, according to Honeywell, which expects the device to be available in 2006. The Air Force plans to buy 180 suites for new and retrofit C-17s.

THE NEW ONBOARD INFORMATION TERMINALS 

THE NEW ONBOARD INFORMATION TERMINALS that Airbus A380 pilots will use for their electronic flight bags will be developed by Barco of Kortrijk, Belgium, under contract to the French company Sagem. Barco plans to use a 12-in. sunlight-readable active matrix liquid crystal display (LCD), with a Pentium-class processor. Each aircraft will have two terminals, one on each side of the cockpit, with an ergonomic operator desk including a custom-made keyboard, track ball and mouse.

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS HAS DEVELOPED 

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS HAS DEVELOPED a high-density, three-dimensional static random access memory (SRAM) that opens the door for competitive ultrahigh-density products for both low-power and high-speed applications. Vertical stacking of single-crystal silicon cells and thin-film transistors gives the smallest SRAM cell size yet, according to the company. More semiconductor developments will be presented at the 2004 very large-scale integration (VLSI) technology and circuits symposium in Honolulu on June 15-19.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) 

BY THE END OF 2005, AUSTRALIA PLANS TO PROVIDE high-altitude aircraft tracking over the entire continent using using 28 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations. Aircraft will use the 1090 MHz. Mode S Extended Squitter to automatically transmit their identity, position, altitude and other information about once a second. In addition to nation-wide surveillance above FL 300 (30,000 ft.), ADS-B inputs will be combined with radar surveillance to enhance coverage below 10,000 ft. in high-density traffic areas.

Georgia Tech 

DISPLAYS ON FLEXIBLE POLYMER SHEETS MAY BE CLOSER to reality, thanks to research by a Georgia Tech team led by Prof. Jean-Luc Bredag. Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) based on pi-conjugated polymers offer the benefits of lightweight, flexible displays, operate at low voltage and can be deposited using simple ink-jet printing. Outweighing those advantages has been the low efficiency of light-emitting polymers in converting energy to light, which seemed limited to an unacceptable 25%.

Q-TRACK CORP. 

Q-TRACK CORP. HAS DEVELOPED A SIMPLE, YET ACCURATE radio frequency-based distance-measuring method to track objects in real time. The Huntsville, Ala., company is patenting a near-field electromagnetic ranging (NFER) technique that determines the separation of transmitter and receiver units. Distance can be measured accurately by exploiting the phase difference between a radio signal's electric wave and magnetic wave within the "near-field"--the first half of a wavelength. At 27.12 MHz., for example, accuracy is a fraction of an inch.

ROCKWELL COLLINS AUTOMATED WEATHER RADAR 

ROCKWELL COLLINS AUTOMATED WEATHER RADAR is designed to improve the quality of weather information in the cockpit while simplifying its operation. Now certified on all Boeing aircraft (Airbus certification is slated for later this year), the WXR-2100 multiscan weather radar eliminates the need for pilots to adjust tilt or gain. The radar automatically optimizes control settings to compensate for variations in weather patterns caused by time of day, time of year and geographic location, according to Collins. Looking ahead 320 naut.

ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS 

ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE CONCEPTS at the ATC Maastricht (Netherlands) 2004 Conference would embed a digital signal in VHF or HF voice transmissions to verify the identity of the sender, adding security to transmission between pilots and controllers, or among controllers. Bogus voice transmissions usually come from pranksters, but could be used by terrorists. Frequentis, working with the University of Technology in Graz, Austria, developed the aircraft identification tag for Eurocontrol.

ERA OF PARADUBICE, CZECH REPUBLIC 

ERA OF PARADUBICE, CZECH REPUBLIC, is expanding its multilateration surveillance systems outside the country's borders. Working with Mode-S transponder equipped aircraft and vehicles, its airport surveillance cooperative sensor system will be providing positions within 5 meters, updates once a second, and identification of aircraft and vehicles on the surface at Copenhagen, Palma de Mallorca and Prague Ruzyne airports. Commissioning of all three is slated for this year.

A HIGH-RESOLUTION MILLIMETER-WAVE RADAR 

A HIGH-RESOLUTION MILLIMETER-WAVE RADAR developed by QinetiQ to detect small objects on runways that pose a foreign object damage (FOD) hazard to jet engines will be tested starting in March at Southampton, England, and Paris Charles de Gaulle airports. The Tarsier radar operates at 77 or 94 GHz. and can spot objects as small as a wheel hub (about 3 in. across), with an accuracy of 3 meters (9.8 ft.) out to a range of 2 km. (1.2 mi.), according to the company. Cost of equipping an airport would be about 450 euros ($576), depending on airport configuration.

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