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HAZELTINE CORP. v. BRINEGAR

February 21, 1975

HAZELTINE CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
The Honorable Claude S. BRINEGAR et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN

 JUNE L. GREEN, District Judge.

 Background

 In 1971 the United States government embarked upon a development program for a landing system for airplanes intended to meet a combination of military and civil requirements. The program, to be completed within a five-year span, is designed to produce a microwave landing system which meets or exceeds a series of operational requirements and which may gain worldwide acceptance. The five-year period for completion of the development is especially important since the countries represented in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will meet in June 1976 for the purpose of accepting a single non-visual landing system for international use. Before that time, the United States must have a working prototype system, supported by full documentation, in place for demonstration in competition with other techniques developed by other ICAO countries.

 In support of this objective, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 1971 solicited proposals from industry for a three phase microwave landing system program. The program's purpose is the development of a total microwave landing system (MLS). This contemplates a ground station generating electromagnetic signals with responsive units in the airplane to receive these signals and provide information to the pilot which defines his position with respect to the runway in terms of horizontal angle, height and distance.

 Nine proposals were received which, after technical evaluation and source selection analysis, were reduced to six. Contracts directed to Phase I "Technique Analysis and Contract Definition" were extended to and accepted by all six contractors.

 Upon completion of Phase I, two microwave landing system techniques were selected by FAA for consideration. These were generally identified as Doppler and Scanning Beam. Hazeltine, ITT-Gilfillan, Bendix Corp. and Texas Instruments were engaged to carry out research and development. The first two firms chose to work on the Doppler technique, and the last two chose to develop the Scanning Beam technique.

 Initially, the Scanning Beam contractors employed frequency reference coding on the Scanning Beam. This was later abandoned for a time reference signal format. This alternate format was deemed more promising after the United States learned of the investigations in Australia directed to a scanning beam technique employing time reference encoding.

 Findings of fact

 Apparently all four contractors carried out their assignments competently and the government received the technical information and supporting documentation needed to make a selection of a single optimized technique, either Doppler, or Scanning Beam with time reference, as the candidate for United States military/civil use and international adoption.

 In moving toward final selection, the FAA set up a technique assessment process which went far beyond the usual governmental review and recommendation procedure. A Central Assessment Group (CAG) was created which included experts from the United States and foreign governments, airplane manufacturers, airline pilots, airport operators and academic scientists. This Group made a careful study of relevant features of both techniques in their optimized forms and concluded that both met the operational requirements specified.

 Hazeltine protests that the tentative selection of an optimized scanning beam technique should not foreclose it from competing in that technique for Phase III work. Hazeltine argues that technology it developed for the government under a Phase II contract constitutes a valuable segment of the optimized scanning beam technique. In particular, Hazeltine has developed a Doppler scan electronic antenna which may be converted to fit the requirements of the optimized scanning beam system. (Both systems, Doppler and Scanning Beam, have benefited by input from a number of foreign and domestic sources of technological competence.) ...


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