Tucson, Arizona, February 14, 2005 -- Ridgetop Group, a fast-growing Tucson technology firm, announced that it had been awarded another Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract. The amount of the multi-year contract is $1 Million and was received from the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office of the US Navy Air System Command (NAVAIR).
The Joint Strike Fighter is intended to comprise 75% of the nation’s fighter jets by the year 2020, and will contain many innovative and cost-saving technologies, including advanced electronic prognostic technology. When placed in service, Prognostics/Health Management or “PHM” will provide advance warning of module failures so that mitigating action can be taken, such as switching to backup modules. In addition, PHM also replaces costly and inefficient time-based maintenance intervals with conditionbased maintenance. Ridgetop is considered the leader in the emerging field of electronic prognostics/PHM technology.
The prognostics effort by Ridgetop will initially focus on providing advanced warning of impending failures of DC to DC power converter modules, a common device found in almost all electronic systems. Power converters, using high speed switching technologies, adjust and filter voltage levels for sensitive electronic equipment. The repetitive stress from this switching process “ages” the modules, and eventually they fail to function properly. With timely detection of an impending failure event caused by component aging or other failure mechanisms, computers on the aircraft can rapidly switch to backup systems to provide uninterrupted service. This capability provides improved operational readiness levels and optimized logistics support.
Ridgetop has forged strategic alliances with leading firms to address various facets of prognostics, including C & D Technologies, a $400 Million Power Supply firm and two large aerospace Prime Contractors. Ridgetop also works closely with Arizona’s two major research universities, who have supplied Ridgetop with key staff members and recent graduates.
Doug Goodman, Ridgetop’s Chairman and CEO noted, “We are gratified at being selected by NAVAIR to contribute to the Joint Strike Fighter program. Our Tucsonbased Ridgetop Team employees deserve the credit for their hard work in making this business a reality. This contract award represents a major endorsement for our innovative PHM technologies by a demanding customer. Looking ahead, we are also encouraged by the large potential commercial applications for our products, including critical automotive and medical electronics applications. ”
About Ridgetop Group
Ridgetop Group, Inc. is a rapidly expanding company offering an advanced line of Design Tools, Intellectual Property (IP) Libraries and Design Services to Government and Commercial customers. Ridgetop’s products and services have been applied in demanding applications for advanced space and defense systems. With 22 employees, Ridgetop was founded in 2000 and maintains its main office in Tucson, Arizona. With a growing backlog of business from both government and commercial customers, Ridgetop’s employment is projected to rise to 35 in the next 12 months. www.ridgetop-group.com