Features & Analysis

U.S. Air traffic control computers vulnerable to cyber security threats, GAO says

March 23, 2015

WASHINGTON, 23 March 2015. The U.S. commercial air traffic control (ATC) system is vulnerable to hackers and other cyber security threats, say auditors at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Washington, the investigative arm of Congress.

Particle-filled silicones provide EMI shielding and environmental sealing

Particle-filled silicones provide EMI shielding and environmental sealing

February 11, 2015

By Dominic Testo
Particle-filled silicones are elastomeric compounds that combine the advantages of silicone with the electrical properties of metals. An inert, synthetic rubber, silicone offers thermal stability over a wide temperature range and resists ozone and ultraviolet (UV) light. Silicone rubber also resists water, and can be formulated to impart electrical conductivity. When filled with tiny metal particles, typically silver-plated or nickel-coated, silicone compounds can be used for environmental seals that resist electromagnetic interference (EMI).

F-35 fighter, P-8A patrol jet, KC-46 tanker are big winners in 2016 DOD budget

February 9, 2015

WASHINGTON, 9 Feb. 2015. The U.S. military's F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) -- one of the nation's costliest defense programs -- leads efforts by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to upgrade and build new military aircraft in the Pentagon's fiscal 2016 budget request, submitted this past week.

Never has the value of human intelligence on the flight deck been more important

January 19, 2015

HOWARD'S TOWER BLOG 19 Jan. 2015. Modern avionics represents truly amazing technology. Sensors are growing in sophistication, digital satellite communications is helping guide aircraft to their destinations more efficiently than ever before, and small powerful computers are blending sensor inputs to produce on-board real-time situational awareness.

Airport passenger boarding bridge market to reach $7.5 billion by 2020, forecast says

Airport passenger boarding bridge market to reach $7.5 billion by 2020, forecast says

January 12, 2015

DALLAS, 12 Jan. 2015. the global market for airport passenger boarding bridges will grow to $7.5 billion by 2020, with a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.85 percent, predict analysts at market researcher Markets and Markets in Dallas.

Boeing to equip Navy's new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for high-altitude ASW

January 5, 2015

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 5 Jan. 2015. Surveillance aircraft experts at the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Seattle are upgrading the U.S. Navy's new P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to enable the long-range reconnaissance aircraft to perform anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions from high altitudes.

Navy considers upgrading AV-8B jump jet with small-form-factor Link 16 MIDS terminals

December 22, 2014

RIDGECREST, Calif., 22 Dec. 2014. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II jump jet has provided a substantial avionics engineering challenge since the aircraft entered service in 1985. The small aircraft's tight spaces can make avionics upgrades difficult.

Risk analysis and staying informed help MRO businesses conquer supply-chain issues this holiday travel season

Risk analysis and staying informed can help MRO businesses conquer supply-chain issues this holiday travel season

December 9, 2014

If you’ve been keeping up with conversations around the hangar, you’ve likely noticed all the talk these days about supply-chain management in aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). Supply-chain management techniques, including supply-chain mapping and risk analysis, have emerged as major contributors to efficient aviation maintenance and repair.

Analysts: light military helicopter manufacturing set to decline over the next 15 years

December 1, 2014

NEWTOWN, Conn., 1 Dec. 2014. Rotorcraft manufacturers throughout the world will build 208 light military helicopters in 2016, but that production level will fall to only 55 light military helicopters by 2028, report analysts at market researcher Forecast International in Newtown, Conn.

Air Force to use existing on-board sensors to enable UAS to sense and avoid other aircraft

November 3, 2014

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 3 Nov. 2014. Military and industry researchers are finding ways to use existing sensors aboard manned and unmanned aircraft to enable the platform to sense and avoid other aircraft and operate safely in the National Airspace System (NAS).

Rockford aerospace cluster

Regional aerospace cluster expands, grows international presence, attracts attention

October 14, 2014

Proactive aerospace community grows international presence and participation, becomes an epicenter of aerospace activity in the nation, and competes for business on a global scale.

Flightline technicians need a stronger voice in the test equipment business

October 13, 2014

HOWARD'S TOWER BLOG, 13 Oct. 2014. The flightline test experts buying and specifying test equipment need to improve their communications with the technicians using that equipment, or risk playing a guessing game that could lead to the wrong choices.

Air Force researchers asks Leidos to redefine aircraft missile defense state of the art

Air Force researchers asks Leidos to redefine aircraft missile defense state of the art

October 6, 2014

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio, 6 Oct. 2014. Aerial missile defense experts at Leidos Inc. in Reston, Va., will attempt to advance the state of the art in aircraft missile warning and countermeasures under terms of a $49.4 million U.S. Air Force research contract.

Progeny Systems continues work to upgrade P-8A mission software to open-systems standards

September 29, 2014

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE–DIX–LAKEHURST, N.J., 29 Sept. 2014. Aircraft software experts at Progeny Systems Corp. in Manassas, Va., are helping the U.S. Navy upgrade software to enable existing airborne mission computers to disseminate collected maritime airborne mission data in real time.

Lockheed Martin to upgrade Terrain Awareness Warning System software on MH-60 helicopters

September 22, 2014

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md., 22 Sept. 2014. Helicopter avionics experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are preparing to improve the safety of U.S. Navy Sikorsky MH-60 helicopters with new software and other upgrades.

Former NASA Administrator Griffin urges government to reduce dependence on Russia, proactively pursue space, and clearly define goals and policy

Former NASA Administrator Griffin urges government to reduce dependence on Russia, proactively pursue space, and clearly define goals and policy

August 27, 2014

A former NASA administrator discusses current and future aerospace opportunities and challenges, including U.S. dependence on foreign aerospace technologies and capabilities. 

Methodology and certification roadmap key to standards compliance, addressing goals of regulatory authorities, says LDRA’s StClair

Methodology and certification roadmap key to standards compliance, addressing goals of regulatory authorities, says LDRA’s StClair

August 20, 2014

An avionics regulations and certification expert from LDRA describes the FAA National Systems, Software and Airborne Electronic Hardware conference, which the company is co-sponsoring, and the path to certification.

Logicircuit

Leverage COTS IP to speed development, comply with requirements, and mitigate SEE, urges Logicircuit’s Lange

August 15, 2014

An avionics regulations and certification expert from Logicircuit describes the upcoming FAA National Systems, Software and Airborne Electronic Hardware conference and its value, commercial off-the-shelf IP, and the path to certification.

Navy preparing for major presence of new P-8 maritime patrol jets at Whidbey Island NAS, Wash.

Navy preparing for major presence of new P-8 maritime patrol jets at Whidbey Island NAS, Wash.

August 11, 2014

SILVERDALE, Wash., 11 Aug. 2014. U.S. Navy maritime patrol experts are preparing for a major presence of the new Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol jet at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor, Wash., as the new jet slowly begins to replace the venerable Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime patrol turboprop.

in-flight entertainment and connectivity

Copper and fiber co-exist in commercial aerospace

August 6, 2014

Aircraft depend increasingly on digital electronics for information and control. The trend toward MEA (more electric aircraft) highlights the transition from mechanical systems to electronically controlled systems. As the electronics content in both aircraft operation and passenger amenities continues to grow, so do the processing loads. Embedded computers are evolving to allow ever-increasing sophistication in flight sensors and radar. Distributed processing—moving the processing power from a centralized location to the point of use—still requires communication between boxes.

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