BEMIDJI - EXB Solutions’ Bemidji office has two new big projects lined up. Both are set to be finished in early 2014.
The company, which came to Bemidji in 2008, is an engineering services company that specializes in system and software testing for safety critical computer systems in the aerospace and defense industries.
“We do software verification testing. Which basically means we take the system that has been created and then we create tests to verify that the software does what it is supposed to do,” said EXB director of engineering Paul Carpenter. “Quite often, we have a simulation on the computer where we actually run the real software on a test computer. In other cases, we have the actual hardware, where we run the actual tests on the hardware. which may be in our location or at a remote location.”
They’ve been here for five years and one of their goals in coming here was to not only establish a business in Bemidji, but also to recruit and employ local area residents and BSU graduates, Carpenter said. Starting this month, a recent BSU graduate will be joining their ranks.
“Right now our engineering staff is eight full-time engineers, seven of them are BSU grads,” Carpenter said. “The eighth is a University of Minnesota grad, but he’s a local area resident. With this project, one of our former employees...he moved out of the Bemidji area but he’s moving back and we’re going to bring him back on a contractor basis. In the short term, we will have nine local area people working for the company up here.”
The first new project is to verify a weather radar computer for Honeywell in Redmond, Wash. that will go on the Airbus A400M Atlas, a multinational four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft.
“The weather radar kind of works like a weather app you’d have on your cellphone, but obviously more complicated than that. It allows pilots to view the weather around the aircraft. It helps them to determine whether they should move around a storm cell or something like that,” Carpenter said.
The other project is an integrated air data/inertial reference unit for Honeywell in Coon Rapids, Minn.
The initial target aircrafts are the 737NG, followed by the 767-2C (KC-46 Tanker). It will also be used on other Boeing aircraft.
“What an air data computer does is it has sensors on the airplane and they determine airspeed and altitude and a number of other factors,” Carpenter said. “The navigation unit basically determines where the airplane is in space. So it basically determines three-dimensionally where you are. Those are used to help control the airplane.”
They are high profile programs.
The projection of the air data/inertial reference is set to be complete in December 2014.
The projection for the weather radar is estimated for February of 2014, Carpenter said.