ARIA

Apollo/Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft

Worldwide Support of Space and Earth Programs for 35 Years

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Bendix Radio Corporation

     The Bendix Radio Corporation was involved in the construction of the electronic systems aboard the ARIA Aircraft. The picture to the left displays a mock up of the ARIA bulkhead to check the components in an on the bulkhead with their associated cabling.

    Bill Mackey is pictured. This picture was taken between late 1964 to early 1965 in the R building at Bendix Radio Joppa Road, Towson, Maryland. Bill worked at Bendix Radio and was one of the Antenna/RF designers on the original ARIA system. His scope of work involved everything in the radome except the x-band radar.

    The company was originally a part of Bendix Radio and was formed in 1950 to provide support for a U.S. Air Force radar system and other Air Force equipment. Later, with the advent of the space age, the company became an integral part of the "Space Race" by providing support starting with the MINITRACK program and soon after with Project Mercury and then on to the Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab missions with the Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN), the Satellite Tracking and Data Acquisition Network (STADAN) which supported many of the unmanned scientific satellite programs, and the Deep Space Network (DSN). The MSFN & STADAN programs were combined in the early 70's and became the Spaceflight Tracking Data Network (STDN). The last Apollo mission occurred shortly after this with the Apollo/Soyuz Test Project in 1975.

    The 80's seen the advent of the Space Shuttle program and was supported by BFEC until it ended in August 2011. Also in the early 80's, the Tracking Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) came into being and by the latter 80's became fully operational and at this time most of the spacecraft ground tracking stations were closed, ending an era that was a way of life for many of those, "Range Rats" who manned them. Also during this time frame, many other programs were being supported, a few of which are listed below.

    Bendix Field Engineering Corporation, BFEC, ceased to exist in name in 1992 and assumed the identity of another major aerospace company (AlliedSignal). The Bendix Corporation was acquired by the Allied Corporation in 1982 and shortly thereafter Allied merged with the Signal Corporation becoming AlliedSignal Inc. However, Bendix Field Engineering Corporation's name did not change until 1992 whereupon it became AlliedSignal Technical Services Corporation (ATSC) and then in 1999 AlliedSignal merged with Honeywell and thus becoming Honeywell International and with the old BFEC/ATSC becoming Honeywell Technology Solutions Inc. (HTSI).

Source: Bendix Radio Foundation