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AUSA Annual Meeting exhibitors showcase diverse technologies

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Exhibitors big and small, foreign and domestic were part of the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition, the largest land forces display in North America.

On the smaller side was Qnexis, Inc., a Reston, Va.-based communications company seeking attention for an emergency communications app it has created to provide mass notifications to mobile phones.

Kurt Nguyen, the company president and CEO, said the mobile app is useful for routine communications between administrators and employees, providing company-wide or site-specific communications, and is even more useful for alerts, such as fires, storms or active shooters.

Under a feature calls RUOK – “are you OK?” – companies can contact all employees at once with an alert message and get an immediate status report on whether they need assistance.

Because the feature is tied to a cellphone, RUOK also can provide the location of each employee, making it easy to see who has and has not been evacuated.

The new application would be priced at about $5 per month for each employee, Nguyen said, but the cost per employee would be lower for larger companies.

Toward the other end of the spectrum, Honeywell is planning a major upgrade to the venerable T55 engine that has powered the Army’s CH-47 Chinook helicopters for more than half a century.

The upgraded engine, designated the T55 IPE, “will meet expected life needs well into the 2030s,” said Tom Hart, vice president for defense and space in Honeywell Aerospace.

The upgraded engine will increase power efficiency by about 25 percent while cutting fuel usage by about 8 percent. It will “successfully showcase efficiency and power improvements in the most demanding environments,” Hart said.

Honeywell also is working on improvements in high-speed satellite communications, precision navigation systems, and unmanned aerial vehicle systems improvements.

In the same vein, Northrup Grumman showcased a variety of “tailored enhancements that help preserve command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance dominance; expand mission capabilities; and create tomorrow’s solutions for today’s force,” according to a company news release.

Northrup Grumman’s booth at AUSA featured a variety of systems and capabilities. They included digital helicopter cockpit and integrated avionics solutions as well as the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System, “a revolutionary command-and-control system developed to deliver a single, unambiguous view of the battlespace.”

DRS Technologies had a similarly diverse portfolio of products on display, including its new Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III, designed to provide rapid target acquisition and then wirelessly send the soldier’s weapon imagery from the sight to the NVG eyepiece. The result: Soldiers can “rapidly engage targets even when protected behind an obstacle.”

DRS Technologies also highlighted its Joint Assault Bridge, a track/wheeled vehicle designed to carry and deploy a heavy “scissor” bridge that “allows mobility over wet or dry chasms.”