Harris and partners radio intent to pursue FAA gold

Teaming triad has its eye on next-generation aviation systems

Harris Corp. is teaming with two aviation technology companies to pursue Federal Aviation Administration awards for advanced communications systems.

Harris and Jotron AS of Norway will pursue an anticipated five-year, $200 million FAA contract for next-generation radios that will meet the agency’s future communications needs.

The international communications and information technology company based in Melbourne, Fla., also is teaming with Sunhillo Corp. to develop advanced data information-exchange networks for the next generation of global air transport systems, Harris announced today in separate news releases.

Harris and Jotron, which has a 40-year history of manufacturing aviation and maritime radios and communications systems, are competing for Phase 2 of the FAA’s Next Generation Air-to-Ground Communications System initiative.

The FAA is seeking commercial-off-the-shelf, very-high-frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF) radios for voice communications between FAA facilities and aircraft in the terminal and flight services environments, according to the announcement.

Harris and Jotron have worked together to design the Jotron 7000 Series multi-mode digital radio to meet FAA specifications, and also to provide additional benefits with Internet Protocol and voice-over-IP transmission.

In addition to helping reduce overall procurement costs, the 7000 Series also will reduce logistics costs by providing a single radio source for both UHF and VHF radios, the Harris statement said. 

The radios will be manufactured at Harris facilities in Malabar, Fla.

Harris and Sunhillo are developing advanced data information-exchange networks for the next generation of global air transport systems as part of the FAA’s Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and similar programs within the European Union.

The team is using flexible, service-oriented architecture technology to create a secure, network-centric information exchange that meets the System-Wide Information Management standards, known as SWIM.

SWIM, an advanced technology designed to more easily share air traffic management system information, is a central component of NextGen.

Located near Philadelphia International Airport, Sunhillo specializes in surveillance data distribution and interoperability for network-centric sensors and air traffic management solutions, the Harris announcement said.

Harris Corp. ranks No. 13 on Washington Technology’s 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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