Iowa’s Rockwell Collins has a connection to the “Rover” craft that are crawling around the surface of Mars. Spokesman Jeff Mowder says the high-quality viewing devices that serve the explorer’s “eyes” were made by a subsidiary of the avionics company. R-C’s Kaiser Electro-Optics division based in California is providing all the lenses in the lander as well as both rovers. The company provided NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs with some 40 lenses, and some were used for testing while there are a total of twenty in use in the cameras on the landers and their rovers. The Kaiser Electro-Optic division also produces high-tech equipment used to let pilots view two things at once. A lot of military aircraft have a “head-up” system that puts flight information on a screen in front of the pilot’s field of vision, so they don’t have to look down to see the indicators during critical times in flight. And similar systems will even let soldiers on the ground have a “Terminator”-like view of the battlefield.All the soldiers will have GPS devices linked by computer so their eyepieces will show “friendly” combatants, for example, as being green. Others will appear a different color to help the soldiers tell where forces are and which are hostile.
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