Military GPS technology to be marketed domestically

Published 14 September 2007

Rockwell Collins will market its Polaris-branded devices, popular in the military, to homeland security and search and rescue agencies

Here is an example of the spill-over effect, that is, of technology developed for the military which finds good uses domestically. Global positioning system devices now used by thousands of soldiers around the world will be sold commercially, Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based defense contractor Rockwell Collins Inc. said the other day. The Polaris-branded devices to be sold to customers such as those in homeland security and search and rescue agencies, and will offer the same functions and durability of the military versions, the company said. The Polaris Guide is a GPS receiver that can be mounted in a vehicle or hand-held. It will be available for use in any federal, civilian, military or international platforms requiring real-time positioning data. The Polaris Explosive Resistant GPS is available and is designed for vehicle and ship applications requiring the ruggedness to resist mine or improvised explosive device detonations. The company said the GPS receivers can be used to patrol borders and monitor seaports, lakes, and rivers. The receivers can also be used to assist in disaster response and search and rescue operations.

The company said it has delivered more than 156,000 units to military customers and has orders for 50,000 more.

Did you know that former president George Bush, the father of the current president, once a year, on his birthday, jumps out of a plane like in the good old days when he was a Navy pilot? The 83-years old Bush and other parachutists would be glad to know that Rockwell Collins has just released a helmet-mounted GPS navigation system for parachutists. ParaNav is a personal, GPS-based, flight management system with an integrated head-up display. It provides parachutists with accurate navigation capabilities and enhanced situational awareness, allowing them to fly to their designated landing zones.