CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Feb 4, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Sperry Marine unit has introduced a mission data recorder (MDR) for the military market that automatically logs and stores critical data from shipboard sensors and systems.
The MDR is the military equivalent of Sperry Marine's voyage data recorder currently approved and certified to meet or exceed all requirements required by the International Maritime Organization for all passenger and new cargo ships over 3,000 gross tonnage by July 1, 2002.
Installed as either a stand-alone system or as a core element in a complete integrated bridge system, the MDR captures operation, navigation, machinery and tactical information and stores it in protected memory. The historical shipboard data can be played back onboard or accessed remotely from shore for near real-time access to vital data from the ship. This data includes voice recordings from the bridge, combat information center, fire control and damage control center, along with inputs from the ship's navigation and control systems.
MDR data can be saved to an optional hardened memory capsule. Similar to an aircraft "black box," the memory capsule has been tested to withstand extreme water pressure and heat. It is designed to be mounted on the ship's superstructure, where it can be recovered after an incident. A single-handed, quick-release mechanism simplifies recovery. A sonar transmitter facilitates search and recovery by submersible vehicles in the event of a sinking.
"The information captured by the mission data recorder provides a wealth of information for use in mission debriefing, vessel performance monitoring, crew training and after-action incident investigations," said Richard H. Smith, program manager for Mission Data Recorders at Sperry Marine.
"With 50 systems currently installed on commercial platforms, we've now expanded this technology to the military market, enabling additional data such as remote diagnostics, ship's position, condition, data sensors, equipment status and network reports crucial to effectively assessing military operations," said Mr. Smith.
The MDR has been designed to accommodate a wide range of interface formats through the use of a sensor interface unit (SIU). Comprising ruggedized industrial signal conditioning modules, the SIU accepts all analog, serial and digital signal types. The SIU conditioning modules can be "hot swapped" in the field for rapid replacement with minimum downtime.
Audio signals from the bridge and other areas are collected via a customized audio module, which digitizes and compresses voice and radio communication recordings to enable data storage capability to be maximized.
Sperry Marine offers a complete MDR package, from definition of technical requirements to installation and to life cycle management.
Sperry Marine, with worldwide headquarters in Charlottesville, Va., is part of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. The business unit provides smart navigation and ship control solutions for the international marine industry under the Sperry Marine, Decca and C. Plath brand names, with customer service and support through offices in 19 countries and authorized service depots in more than 300 locations worldwide.
Headquartered in Baltimore, Md., Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense electronics systems including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, logistics systems, and automation and information systems.
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CONTACT: Debbi McCallam Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (410) 765-1521