Sep 26, 2001
Based on current disc drive performance levels, their low cost per gigabyte and the proliferation of applications that require fast access to data, disc drives are moving into new applications like television, digital video recorders, MP3 players, game consoles and even surveillance equipment in Navy fighter planes. General Dynamics Information Systems, a unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has a contract that involves the use of disc drive technology on the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft.
General Dynamics Information Systems (GDIS) is a market leader in providing mission-critical systems to markets that include tactical avionics, rugged mass data storage, surveillance, space-borne processing, and other defense and aerospace applications. Recently, it was selected by Raytheon Electronic Systems to provide the Data Storage System (DSS), a compact, flight-worthy data translator, storage and retrieval system that translates and stores data from the U.S. Navy's newest fighter radar. The recorded information will be used to refine the radar's signal processing programs. These programs translate the radar signals into displays that show the pilot what the radar is seeing, be it a bird or a missile.
Up to this point, legacy tape systems were used to record surveillance data in the Navy's aircraft. New recording systems using disc drives are lighter (a comparable tape system would weigh more than 400 pounds, versus 90 pounds for the disc drive system), less expensive, provide higher data rates and offer more storage capacity. These disc drive systems also provide significant advantages over other technologies like solid state storage. As a result, the Navy has begun replacing legacy systems with rugged GDIS products that use disc drives.
The DSS will be used in the development of the Boeing/Raytheon Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) fire control radar system on the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet aircraft, and for other radar system improvement programs.
GDIS plans to use Seagate's Cheetah 73LP disc drive for the Data Storage System. The Cheetah 73LP is designed for the demanding requirements of e-commerce servers, departmental servers, data mining and A/V applications, where performance, reliability and high storage capacities are critically important. With the Seagate drive, the DSS will provide storage capacities up to one terabyte and sustained data rates greatly exceeding the performance of any digital recorder ever flown on a fighter aircraft.
"With the unique technology Seagate provides, General Dynamics is able to offer dramatic cost/performance advantages over solid state storage or other technologies while fully meeting program performance and environmental needs," said Patrick Sullivan, chief technologist for mass storage systems at General Dynamics Information Systems.
Many current-generation products from General Dynamics also use Seagate drives. Those products are already being flown in the F-14 and F-16 aircraft, demonstrating that properly packaged disc drives can meet severe environmental conditions including fast roll-rate, high g-forces and extreme vibration.
"With the need for storage technology increasing, Seagate's drives, which are typically used in PC and server environments, are moving rapidly into new, interesting market segments ranging from the U.S. Government to professional sports to creating Hollywood movies," said Sherman Black, Seagate vice president, Enterprise and Personal Storage Business Development.
Seagate is the world's leading provider of storage technology for Internet, business and consumer applications. The Company's products include disc drives for the Enterprise, PCs and Consumer Electronics, as well as Storage Area Network (SAN) solutions. Seagate's market leadership is based on delivering award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com.
About General Dynamics
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 47,000 people worldwide and anticipates 2001 sales of approximately $11.5 billion. The company has leading market positions in business aviation, information systems, shipbuilding and marine systems, and land and amphibious combat systems.
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