Helicopters Magazine

Kannad and Eurocopter receive award for distress beacon

September 3, 2010  By Carey Fredericks

Sept. 3, 2010, Jouy-en-Josas, France - The joint development by Eurocopter and Kannad of a new-generation emergency distress beacon for helicopters was recognized on Thursday with an award presented during a conference of industry managers, entrepreneurs, agencies, and managers in the economic and technology sectors.

The trophy was bestowed on Eurocopter, a worldwide leader in the production of helicopters, and Kannad, a company of the Orolia Group for their collaborative development of the distress beacon – called Integra – which enables a helicopter to be more reliably located in an emergency situation.

Innovative features of the Integra beacon include the first use of an internal GPS (Global Positioning System) and an integrated antenna for signal transmissions detected by search and rescue systems.
The award was received by Kannad and Eurocopter during the 6th conference of the observatory on relationships between large multinational groups and small/medium enterprises. This event was organized jointly by France’s MEDEF, OSEO, Croissance Plus, PactePme and the IE Club.

The prize, awarded in the ‘High-Technology’ category, was presented by the two companies at today’s conference in the Paris suburbs at Jouy-en-Josas, which is staged during the MEDEF Summer University – a major French political-business gathering where industry captains and politicians participate in roundtable discussions on key economic issues.

“We are especially proud to receive this distinction, which recognizes our innovation strategy and our technological leadership in the distress beacon market,” commented Jean Yves Courtois, CEO of the Orolia Group. “For Kannad, the partnership with Eurocopter allowed us to define the functional characteristics of the product to best meet the clients’ needs, and to test the product in real-life conditions thanks to the technical methods and materials that Eurocopter has available. At the same time, we have benefitted from an exclusive licence carrying the Eurocopter patent.”


Courtois added that the technological advantages provided by the Integra beacon across all sectors of the aviation market have led to the company’s decision to establish a new commercial team in the United States, with the goal of speeding up its development in the world’s largest aviation market.

M. Claudius Zwicker, Eurocopter’s Senior Vice President of Avionics Systems, said the Integra system uses technological innovation to significantly improve the reliability of aviation emergency distress beacons. “This improves the efficiency of search and rescue agencies in locating helicopters in difficulty or in emergency situations,” he added. “Thanks to this partnership, Eurocopter now has a new technology that provides the most reliable pinpointing of helicopters in critical situations.”


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