Abaco Introduces Next Gen 3U VPX FPGA Board Designed to Align With SOSA Technical Standard

Abaco Systems announced the VP831 as the next generation of their VP889, the industry-leading 3U VPX FPGA board now with 100G Ethernet on a design which is aligned with Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) technical standard. The company says this release provides an upgrade path to the latest technology, providing more bandwidth and increased processing capabilities at a lower power and size, ready to perform in the harshest of environments. The VP831 is built on “our decades of experience with high performance digital and analog systems to deliver quality in a system you can trust,” Abaco says.

With upgrades to the underlying technology including embedded ARM cores within the Zynq Ultrascale+ system-on-chip, which reduces power consumption, size, and cost, as well as brings advanced security to the forefront. The VP831 is built to perform in the harshest of environments. It comes with a fully featured open-board support package giving a high-level reference design example to simplify integration of application specific IP and reduce risks of a program integration. This product delivers a migration path from the VP881 to the VP889.  By adhering to industry standards, users can upgrade their systems without a full system redesign, including future technology not yet available on the market.

Serving as a SOSA standard aligned variant of the VP889, the VP831 is the most capable embedded FPGA computing solution in a 3U VPX form factor, bringing flexible, powerful, rugged sensor processing and I/O technology. Military and aerospace, and commercial programs require the latest in I/O and signal processing technology at an affordable cost and with predictable timelines. With the latest FPGA chipset, configurable serial interface options and embedded multiprocessor system-on-chip (MPSoC), the VP831 demonstrates Abaco’s commitment to delivering rugged COTS hardware thus helping our customers overcome their most demanding application challenges.

“Abaco is committed to delivering a quality, off-the-shelf capability ensuring the success of mission critical applications now and throughout the lifetime of the program,” said Pete Thompson, VP of product management for Abaco Systems. “Our commitment to innovation is exemplified with the VP831, which will be beneficial in a wide range of military/aerospace and commercial applications such as communications, sensor processing, radar, and electronic warfare just to name a few. We are thrilled to add another product to our portfolio which is aligned with SOSA technical standards to deliver our customers the solutions they need to succeed.”

Universal Avionics Adds to InSight Display System Portfolio with Latest Hawker 800XP Upgrade

Universal Avionics (UA) has introduced its latest InSight Integrated Flight Deck solution with Authorized Dealer, Redimec S.R.L.’s installation on a Hawker 800XP.

The aircraft operator turned to the InSight Display System for a more modern, reliable flight deck solution to address high failure rates and climbing repair costs associated with existing equipment. The aircraft is now delivered back to the operator, taking flight and ready for international executive travel with new features and a fully integrated display system capable of LPV, CPDLC, ADS-B Out and more.

“The InSight Display System upgrade is an excellent choice for high-end platforms thanks to its flexibility to work with installed systems which are still viable,” said Dror Yahav, UA CEO. “Operators do not need to perform a complete ‘rip and tear’ of their cockpit in order to gain the best-in-class capabilities such as data communication and enhanced situational awareness,” he added.

The Hawker 800XP retrofit upgrade is a more affordable alternative to costly upgrade solutions in the market. The sleek Hawker 800XP installation includes: three EFI-1040 Displays, a single Data Concentrator Unit (DCU) II, dual Touch EFIS Control Display Units (ECDU) and Alphanumeric Keyboards (ANK), a single Reference Select Panel (RSP), and dual UNS-1Fw SBAS-FMSs.

The installed flight deck package offers streamlined operations with added functionality like embedded 3D SVS, electronic charts, advanced mapping, ownship position on runway, and the ability to autotune onboard digital radios.

ME-1210

Kontron Launched the ME1210 Platform to Ease RAN Deployments

In December, Kontron, a provider of IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), announced the launch of its ME1210 mobile edge platform to simplify the deployment of Open RAN. The new platform caters to service providers who seek hardware to unlock the Open RAN promise – complete network elasticity as a means to achieve a fully virtualized cloud RAN architecture.
 
Driven by 5G, the telco industry is moving away from closed, proprietary architectures and embracing open, multi-vendor system designs to customize their networks based on vRAN (virtualized radio access network) and MEC (mobile edge computing) use cases. Open RAN technology is opening up opportunities for service providers who wish to leverage the principles of disaggregation using commodity hardware. The coupling of the two results in faster deployments and significant reductions in CAPEX and OPEX.
 
In close collaboration with leading Open RAN software vendor Mavenir, Kontron is addressing industry pain points by introducing a series of carrier-grade commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers optimized for demanding telco environments. Based on the same design concept as its entry-level counterpart, the ME1100, the newly released ME1210 distributed unit (DU) supports more cores, more memory and increased density in a compact, ruggedized form factor. The series will also feature an outdoor version called the RS1210 which will be available in two IP65 variants to resist dust, water, ice and vibrations.
Featuring the latest Intel® Xeon® D-2100 processor, the powerful yet versatile ME1210 platform complies with any major vRAN software. It supports 2 x PCIe expansion slots for hardware acceleration, an embedded on-board switch and daisy chain configuration connecting multiple DUs together. The optional timing and synchronization module enables 1588v2 transparent clock with Sync-E or GNSS input with OCXO to support 4 hour hold-over requirements.
 
Security has always been a concern from a software perspective and has now become a focal point for hardware. In response, Kontron has developed a Secure Edge Management Server that helps control service costs and minimize truck roll in order to make Open RAN a long-term reality.

“vRAN solutions are gaining rapid acceptance as operators require more industrialized, scalable solutions. With Kontron’s ME1210, we’re looking forward to supporting many new vRAN deployments” states Marko Babovic, head of RAN Product Management, at Mavenir. “We’re excited this provides the possibility to unlock for our customers a newfound freedom that promises to facilitate mobile network deployments at the edge.”
 
“The reality is most commodity servers don’t have the resiliency to run at the far edge where DUs are required” explains Antoine Sirois, director Product Management, at Kontron. “We’re not only reducing costs by disaggregating hardware and software, but we’ve invested in a real-world solution to help make Open RAN possible.”

Ace Aeronautics Earns STC for Electro-Optical Sensor Mount

Ace Aeronautics, (ACE) announced the issuance of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) # SR01957WI for the Ace Aero HD Sensor Mount for the UH-60/S-70 family of helicopters.

The Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Sensor Mount will allow operators of the Black Hawk to add a nose mounted EO/IR sensor to their fleet of aircraft. The kit consists of a one-piece machined aluminum alloy 6061-T631 nose mounted replacement fairing, adapter plate, ILS Glide Slope antenna and connector panel. The kit was designed to accept the largest 16-inch targeting sensors down to the smaller 8-inch stabilized gimballed sensors. There are also adapter plates to accommodate three widely used EO/IR manufactures systems: FLIR Systems, WESCAM and Trakka Systems.

“We really set out to accommodate the integrator and installer with this unit,” said vice president of Business Development Tracy Stapleton. “The nose mounted fairing is a direct replacement for the existing maintenance fairing under the nose avionics shelf. It is match drilled to the host aircraft, and the adapter plate allows for rapid installation and removal of a sensor.”

“There are approximately 4,000 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters around the world that would benefit from an EO/IR sensor, as it brings a tremendous amount of situational awareness to the crew,” said Stapleton.

The company says the STC offers affordable and easy-to-install design and targets the soon-to-be fielded U. S. Army UH-60V program, as every one of the 760 aircraft is slated to have a sensor “A-kit” installed. “Our kit was designed as a great value to the end user,” says EVP Frank Wallace. “We are a tenth of the cost and require only about two days to install, resulting in a huge savings in procurement and labor over the OEM design.”

EcoCortec Announces Compostable Electrostatic Dissipating Anti-Corrosion Film

EcoCortec has introduced what they are calling “the world’s first Eco-Corr Film ESD –  biodegradable, compostable static dissipative films and bags powered by “Nano” VpCI.” The company says this latest film technology is targeted mainly for electronics, telecommunications, packaging, and electric car industries seeking environmentally friendly packaging solutions. In anticipation of new EU regulations penalizing sales of non-recyclable plastic packaging materials, EcoCortec is offering revolutionary, commercially compostable alternative to conventional polyethylene electrostatic dissipating (ESD) films.

Eco-Corr Film ESD products are high performance anti-static, corrosion inhibiting films and bags intended for disposal in a commercial composting environment. They are designed for use in the protection of static sensitive multi-metal items such as electronics. The film contains permanent anti-static properties to immediately reduce or eliminate static buildup as long as the films or bags are in use, independent of the presence of humidity. Eco-Corr Film ESD forms a molecular corrosion inhibiting layer on metal substrates and does not interfere with the physical or chemical properties of electronic components. The film and bags replace conventional rust preventatives such as oils and desiccants and allow the film to be used immediately without cleaning or degreasing. Eco-Corr Film is commercially compostable, meaning that when the film is placed in a typical commercial composting environment it will disintegrate within months. The exact time is dependent upon the conditions and activity of the disposal environment (temperature, soil quality, activity of microorganisms). Eco-Corr Film ESD is shelf stable and will not break down prematurely until disposed of in a proper composting environment.

FEATURES

  • Contains Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibitors (VpCI) to protect void spaces and recessed areas
  • Contains permanent anti-static agent
  • Does not affect optical properties
  • Does not affect plastics used in electronics industry
  • Does not contain free amines or harmful Prop 65 ingredients
  • Commercially compostable packaging film that provides contact, barrier, and vapor corrosion inhibition
  • Meets NACE TM0208-2008 standard for corrosion protection
  • Meets German TL-8135-002 standard for corrosion protection
  • Complete replacement for non-degradable and inferior blend films
  • Static decay rate conformance to MIL-PRF-81705D
  • No ill effects on solderability of PCB, meeting the requirements of IPC-JSTD-003C, Am1 (Edge Dip Solderability Tests

A Czech subsidiary of one of the world’s three largest car manufacturers, selected Eco-Corr Film as a biodegradable substitute to reduce the amount of conventional plastic packaging they use. They tested Eco-Corr Film as part of their new “green” logistics project aimed at decreasing plastic consumption.

Eco-Corr Film was tested as part of the pilot project  of packaging car parts for shipment to their plant in Pune, India. Several tests were conducted for compliance with strict conditions for transport in sea containers. Quality control did not show any damage or traces of corrosion on the components wrapped in Eco-Corr Film® upon arrival in India.  In order to test if the film were able to be composted according to plan, the staff built compost bins near the plant. After six months, the foils had largely disintegrated in the compost bins, helping them to eliminate plastic waste. Eco-Corr Film®successfully replaces conventional plastic films they used previously and provides the same effective corrosion protection. Composted packaging material will be used as soil improver at the plant’s logistics park. Manufacturer was able to cut the amount of conventional plastic packaging in half thus eliminating a significant amount of plastic waste (as much as 500 kg [1102 lbs] per month).

Luxembourg Company ESPACE 2001 Takes Over Joint Venture 3D.aero

The Luxembourg-based company ESPACE 2001 S.A., which specializes in industrial robotics and image processing, has acquired all the shares in the joint venture 3D.aero from the previous owners Lufthansa Technik AG and Pepperl+Fuchs SE with effect from 1 January 2021.

3D.aero was founded in 2017. Since then, the company has been researching, developing and marketing innovative automation and digitization solutions for the aviation industry. In addition to industrial maintenance and factory automation solutions, 3D.aero also offers optical measuring device applications, digital inspection and image processing applications and related consulting services.

ESPACE 2001, which offers services in the field of robotics and industrial automation, intends to further develop 3D.aero’s portfolio and to market the company’s existing products and expertise in sensor-based automation technology in various industries outside of aerospace.

“We are very pleased to continue the successful and close cooperation with 3D.aero that has grown over the years. As shareholders of 3D.aero, we will push ahead with a targeted further development in the field of sensor-based automation technology, and in particular in the field of high-resolution 3D sensor technology,” says Administrateur Délégué of ESPACE 2001, Dr. Werner Neddermeyer. “It is of particular importance to us that our highly specialized and motivated employees continue to lead the company to economic success with interesting and future-oriented technologies in the field of industrial 3D sensor technology and data processing. To this end, we will expand the strategic partnerships that exist to a large extent in the aviation industry and in other areas.”

Dietmar Focke, Vice President Engine Services at Lufthansa Technik, says this of the agreement: “The dramatic impact of the coronavirus crisis on the aviation industry has unfortunately not stopped at 3D.aero. To ensure the survival of the company, an orientation towards new markets is necessary. We are therefore extremely pleased that in ESPACE 2001 we have found a buyer that not only has a high level of expertise but also the necessary broad market positioning. I wish our employees the best of luck and success in their new working home, and thank them for the great work they have done over the past few years.”

Dr. Gunther Kegel, CEO of Pepperl+Fuchs, adds: “We are convinced that the strategic reorientation of 3D.aero, which was made necessary by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, can be moved forward much faster under the umbrella of ESPACE 2001, and we are delighted to have found a future for 3D.aero and our employees in this way. We would like to thank them for their excellent work and wish all of them the best of luck and success. In future we would like to continue our cooperation in automation on a project-specific basis”.

The headquarters of 3D.aero with its 20 employees is the Hamburg Innovation Port (HIP).

Hubbard Appointed Technical Director at Air Navigation Solutions

Air Navigation Solutions (ANSL), a UK air traffic management provider, has appointed Andy Hubbard as its technical director.

Hubbard has 30 years’ experience in the commercial aviation industry. As technical director at ANSL he will be responsible for the strategic development of ANSL’s engineering and technology functions and capabilities. He will also oversee the technical and engineering aspects of projects and operations at both Gatwick and Edinburgh Airports.

“We’re delighted to welcome Andy to the team. He brings an unrivalled wealth of experience to the role that will be of immense value to both the engineering department and the business as a whole,” says Henry Game, managing director at ANSL,

Hubbard joins ANSL from SITA FOR AIRCRAFT where he was Head of Cockpit Communications and ATC Portfolio. Prior to that Andy fulfilled a number of roles at ARINC and Rockwell Collins where he helped the respective business to grow Internationally.

He began his career as an Aircraft Apprentice with British Airways where he qualified as a Licensed Engineer before becoming a Senior Design Engineer working predominantly on Flight Data Recording, Flight Operations Quality Assurance and incident investigation.

“I’ve long been impressed by ANSL’s dynamism, ambition and the diverse talent they attract, and I’m looking forward to using my expertise to contribute to the company’s future success,” said Hubbard.

This appointment follows the recent addition of senior air traffic engineer, Nigel Kerr to ANSL’s engineering team at Gatwick Airport. Kerr, like Hubbard, has a wealth of aviation experience, most recently working for Virgin Atlantic.

Moog Acquires Genesys Aerosystems

Genesys Aerosystems announced that Moog Inc. purchased Genesys Aerosystems on December 18, 2020. Genesys will remain at its locations in Mineral Wells, Texas and Anchorage, Alaska, and will continue doing business as GenesysAerosystems, part of Moog’s Aircraft Controls segment.

As a world leader of flight control systems for military and commercial aircraft, Moog’s addition of Genesys adds advanced avionics suites, including the IDU-680 and IDU-450 displays, digital radios, ADAHRS, GPS, DAU and autopilots for fixed wing and rotorcraft aircraft.

“It has been exciting to be part-owner of Genesys Aerosystems as we have seen the company grow over the last few years,” explained Roger Smith, CEO of Genesys Aerosystems. “We know that to optimize the growth potential of the company and product lines, Genesys needs to have a long-term parent company that can support both organic and inorganic growth, and Moog is just that company.”

“When searching for a company that would be the right fit for Genesys, we highlighted Moog as the best option to ensure our customers will still receive the highest level of customer support,” adds Gordon Pratt, chief growth officer of Genesys Aerosystems. “The core philosophy of both companies is well aligned; we expect the transition to be seamless and imperceptible to our suppliers and valued customers.”

Innovative Solutions & Support Flat Panel Display System Upgrade Continues Strong Growth in Air Cargo Sector

Innovative Solutions & Support (IS&S) announced their Cockpit/IP FPDS System Upgrade for Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft is now in operation on well over 400 airplanes worldwide. IS&S stated, “the significant shift in air carrier operations toward cargo movements has brought the need for more freight-configured aircraft to the marketplace, and many available aircraft for that mission are these proven Boeing airliners.”

S&S believes the growth trend toward older aircraft being reconfigured for cargo operations will continue, as these aircraft provide a cost-effective ease of entry for the legacy carriers and also for newer operators initiating or expanding their air cargo platforms. “The IS&S system provides greatly enhanced economy for these older aircraft, and also increases their residual values as well as delivering safety benefits to everyday operations. Several notable freight operators have opted into our Cockpit/IP® system upgrade for their Boeing fleets,” IS&S stated.

The IS&S flight deck upgrade replaces aging flight instruments on the Classic Series Boeing 737 and the 757/767, utilizing a common 10.4-inch LCD display architecture that IS&S developed and certified to increase operational performance, improve dispatch and on-time arrival, simplify maintenance, enhance situational awareness and improve safety for legacy aircraft. The IS&S retrofit decreases fuel consumption and aircraft weight, resulting in operational savings and reduced CO2 emissions. The system also achieves 3 and 10 day MMEL approval.

Utilizing existing wiring, the installation can be completed in 24 hours while reducing the component count by 70% and removing approximately 180 pounds of legacy equipment, without the operator having to wait through heavy maintenance checks and extended aircraft downtime.

IBA Forecasts Long-Term Engine Value Resilience

The long term value of commercial aircraft engines is set to withstand the worst effects of Covid-19, according to new data from IBA.

In a recent webinar entitled How To Build Resilient Engine Management Programmes For The Road To Recovery, the leading aviation data and advisory company outlined how engines are set to show long term value retention. 

Engine values and lease rates remain soft across all the widebody, narrowbody, regional jet markets in the short term. Mature widebody engines have experienced the greatest reductions and young narrowbody engines the least. 

However, engine values are showing long term stability. Taking a 1999 build Airbus A320ceo as an example, the value of its CFM56 engines has dropped by less than 10%, due to the combined benefits of OEM price inflation and regular reinvestment.

The advent of Covid-19 vaccines is driving some positivity into the engine marketplace, but activity remains depressed as traders are reluctant to sell at the 30-50% discounts currently being sought. 

Lease rate factors on sale and leaseback activity have improved with activity focusing on next generation engines, whilst shop visits have now stabilised at just 50% of pre-Covid levels.

The result of this new normal in the engine marketplace is lessors seeing an increased volume of engines being returned off lease and stored, MROs cutting capacity to meet new demand levels, and OEMs focusing activity on correcting service entry issues with new engines. 

While the long-term value proposition for the more liquid engine types is sound, the immediate issue for most engine owners, lessors and airlines is cash management and considerable efforts are being made to optimise the blend of cost versus time on wing. 

IBA forecasts that the earliest that MRO demand will start to surpass pre-Covid levels is early 2024, with shop visit demand not set to recover until 2022 at the earliest.

“The engine marketplace has faced significant, immediate challenges since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the underlying, long term picture is a more stable one and the advent of vaccines is likely to accelerate that trend,” says Phil Seymour, president of IBA.

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