Sometimes it's hard to know which way is up, but Astronautics Corporation of America gives good directions. The company makes, maintains, and repairs electronic components and systems that enable manned and unmanned planes, ships, land vehicles, and spacecraft to orient themselves in time and space. Its lineup runs from integrated avionics, navigation, and network server systems to electronic flight bags and instruments, mission and display processors, and inertial navigation systems. More than 150,000 aircraft rely on the hardware. Astronautics' customers include US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Sikorsky.
Subsidiary Kearfott Corporation, which does business under the same name as its parent, constitutes the Astronautics' Guidance & Navigation Division. The subsidiary makes navigation systems and motion and control components for use on all types of aircraft. Astronautics also operates in Israel through Astronautics C.A. Ltd and in Russia through AKE.
Since its formation in 1959, the company has sought to lead the avionics industry through its state-of-the-industry products and operations. Astronautics has grown through its success in winning US government contracts, from repair of horizontal situation video display interfaces to repair and modification of steering computers. Some of its projects have included upgrading the C-130 fleet of transport aircraft for the Brazilian air force, providing equipment for new Airbus aircraft, and providing network server systems for the Federal Express fleet.
Astronautics is facing intense competition from Apple's iPad, which is offering an electronic navigation alternative to paper charts that weighs 12 times less than Astronautics' electronic flight bags (EFB). In early 2011 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) endorsed iPads for a test project at Executive Jet Management, a unit of NetJets. – less