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Northrop Grumman

Air traffic control radio

Brief

Northrop Grumman wanted to launch a new air traffic control radio system that would ‘wow’ the market – with both its design and its technology.

The task was to enhance the fundamental radio performance while significantly reducing the size, weight and energy consumption – reducing the total cost of ownership and making the system highly desirable. 

Good job we like a challenge….

Approach

We started by running a series of workshops with Northrop Grumman’s development team, exploring the ‘art of the possible’ in air traffic radio design.

Working as one large integrated project team, we all then created ‘works-like’ prototypes of the selected innovations – and integrated these to confirm the viability of the techniques selected.

The challenge then was to squeeze the quart of electronics into the pint-sized final product design.

So we constructed origami-style models of the key components and worked out how we could assemble them. That led to the creation of a ‘looks-like, works-like’ prototype.

Benefit

At its launch, the Park Air T6 radio family was acclaimed by customers with one word – “Wow!”

Neil Upton, technical director of Northrop Grumman Park Air Systems, said: “It is a fantastic product which has definitely exceeded our expectations.

“I don’t think many people thought we could actually do it but – by putting all our experts together – we achieved an outstanding result.”