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GE Aviation Performs Navigation System Flight Testing for Aerial Refueling Applications

Dépèche transmise le 7 juillet 2009 par Business Wire

GE Aviation Performs Navigation System Flight Testing for Aerial Refueling Applications

GE Aviation Performs Navigation System Flight Testing for Aerial Refueling Applications

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE Aviation successfully completed initial flight testing of its Electro-Optical Grid Reference System (EOGRS) for aerial refueling applications in late June. This activity demonstrates that GE’s grid navigation system is on target to support automatic aerial refueling of both manned and unmanned aircraft using either probe and drogue or boom and receptacle techniques.

"These flight tests validate our technology for refueling drogue stabilization as well as positioning of aircraft in the vicinity of the tanker,” said Lorraine Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems. “This marks the first use of GE proprietary laser grid technology and positions us to continue to advance state-of-the-art aerial refueling technology.”

A series of flights were conducted using an Omega Aerial Refueling Services Inc K-707 tanker with centerline hose and drogue aerial refueling systems. The K-707 was modified by adding GE’s EOGRS transmitter and a form, fit, and function replacement US/NATO standard MA-3 refueling drogue with EOGRS detectors. The modification also included a “truth data” package that generated independent navigation information to allow the reference system performance to be quantified and validated.

In addition to validating the navigation system, the testing collected drogue motion data when the aircraft and refueling equipment were subjected to atmospheric turbulence and aircraft maneuvers, which included various pilot control inputs. The flight tests were conducted across the speed and altitude envelope of the tanker aircraft and all normal drogue extension, retraction and stowage functions were exercised.

Advances in automatic aerial refueling technology such as GE’s EOGRS will increase the safety of manned refueling as well as facilitate unmanned refueling operations. This technology is a key enabler of persistent, world-wide aerial refueling operations. The GE EOGRS tanker-relative navigation system is on a path toward certification as a sole and/or supplemental means of navigation.

GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. GE Aviation Systems LLC and GE Aviation Systems Ltd are subsidiaries of General Electric Company. For more information, visit us at www.ge.com/aviation.

Note to editors:

GE Aviation’s EOGRS uses an eye safe, night vision goggle compatible, laser scanning system to project an invisible laser grid behind the tanker. This grid also contains data that is decoded by the EOGRS laser detectors (in this case mounted on the refueling drogue) to form a measurement of 3-dimensional tanker-relative position within the grid reference system. Spare bandwidth in the transmission mechanism is used to form half of a bi-directional data link between the transmitter and vehicles provisioned with EOGRS detectors. These vehicles can include refueling drogues and manned or unmanned receiver aircraft and facilitate automatic aerial refueling without the need for human involvement.

Business Wire

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