Industry Watch

Northrop wins JSTARS pact

Northrop Grumman Corp. last month won a $199 million contract from the Air Force for 10 retrofit kits under the Computer Replacement Program for Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.

The program will replace and upgrade servers, operator workstations, selected portions of the radar signal processor, the local-area network and other peripheral equipment installed on each JSTARS plane. Each airplane is equipped with five Compaq Computer Corp. Digital Alpha servers, which run the VAX operating system. The upgrades will consolidate the five servers into two rack-mount systems and also will transition the workstations to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT operating system.


PTO selects Sterling

Sterling Commerce Inc. won a contract to provide the Patent and Trademark Office with its Connect Mailbox product to enable PTO customers, such as universities and research companies, to access patent and trademark data directly from the Internet.

The solution will lessen the time it takes for such customers to receive data, which normally is mailed out on magnetic tape or picked up at PTO. Customers can download the information from an assigned mailbox once authorized by the system.


FAA buys new training systems

The Federal Aviation Administration will buy an air traffic control training system developed by Philips Speech Processing, a division of Philips Electronics North America Corp., and Adacel Technologies that integrates speech-recognition capabilities. This simulation product, which recognizes grammar specific to controllers, will enable students to train on their own.

The agreement to buy the stand-alone, PC-based air traffic control simulators, called Automated Trainee Evaluation and Exercise Generator, may reduce delays at major airports because controllers will be better trained at monitoring flights, according to Philips. The Atlanta-based company developed the voice-recognition software that was integrated into the system, which was developed by Adacel.


Vendors to fill Census gap

RS Information Systems Inc. and HTE-UCS Inc. last month won a $1.2 million contract from the Census Bureau to provide software to automate the Census Interactive Mapping and Geocoding System to help collect and process addresses missing from Census databases.

The solution will automate routing and queuing and enable system administrators to monitor and adjust workload to avoid bottlenecks. The client/server package includes an automated assignment capability, an interactive mapping component, a call-center application, and status tracking and reporting.


DoxSys comes to data rescue

A team led by DoxSys Inc. recently won a $3.9 million contract from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide services to support the agency's Environmental Data Rescue Program. DoxSys will work with Molecular Simulations Inc., Beltsville, Md., and RGII Technologies Inc., Annapolis, Md., to preserve environmental data stored in several locations and on different media, including paper and film.


Nexor, CyberTrust form team

Electronic messaging and directory vendor Nexor last month announced it has joined an interoperability program with security vendor CyberTrust. The deal will give Nexor an increased presence in nonmilitary government markets and will enable CyberTrust to offer customers additional choices for directory products.

The agreement is the result of interoperability testing between Nexor's latest directory products and Cyber-Trust's certification authority products and hosting services. The testing showed that CyberTrust's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Version 3 interface is compatible with Nexor's directory server.


New Compaq storage in store

Compaq Computer Corp. last month announced a strategy intended to result in "universal" storage devices that can be used for tasks or services ranging from the workgroup to the data center. Based around the Low Voltage Differential Ultra3 version of the SCSI standard, the strategy will result in products that are compatible with the company's Ultra2 devices, allowing users to mix both types of devices in the same storage enclosure or server, Compaq said.

The forthcoming devices also are intended to be compatible with Compaq's ProLiant and Alpha servers, but some servers Compaq is shipping will need some internal cabling replaced to support Ultra3 and Ultra2 on the same SCSI bus. The company plans to start shipping nonpluggable Ultra3 disk drives for entry-level servers this month. Those will be followed in the first quarter of next year by hot-plug versions of the Ultra3 disk drives.

-- IDG News Service reporter Matthew Woollacott contributed to this article.

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