Northrop introduces new navigation system

Sept. 16, 2011 at 6:24 AM
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LONDON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- A new marine gyro-based inertial navigation system was introduced at a London trade show by U.S. company Northrop Grumman.

The MK 39 Mod 4A Ring Laser Ship's Inertial Navigation System, the latest generation of its MK 39 family of navigation systems based on the company's proven ring laser gyro technology.

Northrop said the MK 39 Mod 4A offers several improvements over earlier versions. The new system occupies only half of the deck space and its weight has been cut 60 percent.

Setup and diagnostics are done via a network-based application instead of a remote control display unit, requiring one less piece of dedicated hardware. Fully configurable serial and Ethernet ports use the NMEA 0183 electrical specification standards and offer high-rate binary messages. The ports use the same inertial measuring unit, which allows common sparing with earlier models.

"The MK 39 Mod 4A shows Northrop Grumman's commitment to continual improvement of our Inertial Navigation System family," said Bill Hannon, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Maritime Systems business unit. "We believe this smaller, lighter, more economical version of the MK 39 will be a natural and effective upgrade for naval fleets."

A Windows-based control and display application allows the operator to observe the status of the navigator and all reference devices, such as the Global Positioning System and the speed log, by connecting a computer on the ship's network.

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