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Avionics Engineering Center sets external research record

ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 4, 2005) -- The Avionics Engineering Center at Ohio University set a record for externally funded research during the fiscal year 2005, having received $8.5 million in grants and contracts. The center, part of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, is the only facility of its kind in the United States.

Specializing in the research, development, and evaluation of electronic navigation, communication, and surveillance systems, the center has received more than $91 million in external funding since its founding in 1963. More than 85 percent of the funding is from the federal government, with the Federal Aviation Administration alone providing nearly $6 million. NASA is another major funding source, as well as the departments of Defense and Transportation.

Instrument Landing System (ILS) and the Global Positioning System (GPS) research each brought in approximately $3 million. For more than four decades, Ohio University has been the avionics industry leader in ILS, the primary precision landing system used by the nation's largest air carriers. It is the only in-flight precision approach system approved for commercial flights to guide a plane below 500 feet.

"The Avionics Engineering Center is an excellent model for increasing external support for research at Ohio University," said Dennis Irwin, Russ College dean. "A key to the center's success is a core group of outstanding faculty supported by professional project personnel and astute center management. The university and the college have certainly realized an exceptional return on their investment in the center over the years - academically as well as financially," he said.

Research in aeronautical communications, aircraft systems, spectrum management, control systems, and flight-testing also contributed to the funding. Recent and current projects include work for the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Florida's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Los Angeles International and San Diego International.

When South Korea built its Seoul-Incheon International Airport, which opened in 2001, planners contacted only Ohio University to research the navigational and landing systems at the new state-of-the-art facility. The Avionics Engineering Center team evaluated what equipment the airport would need and what sorts of limitations it would have on planned and future development.

The Avionics Engineering Center is the largest research unit at Ohio University.

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