About Astronics

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Astronics Max-Viz is an American company founded in Portland, Oregon on May 31, 2001 as Max-Viz, Inc. to design, manufacture and certify Enhanced Vision Systems (“EVS”) primarily for use in the aerospace industry. Max-Viz EVS devices present real-time images of the external environment on aircraft cockpit monitors to improve pilot situational awareness under circumstances where visibility is impaired by weather or darkness. The company objective is to help the pilot see clearly and fly safely by providing visual information about where they are, where they are going and what is in their way. The Max-Viz EVS captures and enhances thermal infrared signals and can be combined with visible light as well as other electromagnetic energy sources. The companys systems are designed to be integrated with a variety of displays already in the aircraft cockpit. The company came into being as a result of two inventions that allowed for possibility of a small lightweight design for EVS that could be deployed onto small private and commercial aircraft and helicopters. The first invention was an uncooled focal plane array licensed from Honeywell (called a microbolometer) that could detect thermal infrared radiation, did not require a cryogenic cooling system (as conventional systems required in the 1990s) and could convert the electromagnetic thermal impulses into signals that could be displayed on a monitor. The second invention was a patented system to fuse video images from multiple sources developed by Dr. J. Richard Kerr (one of the original founders of Max-Viz). This invention enabled signals from a visible light source to be combined with the signals from an infrared source (like the Honeywell focal plane array mentioned above) and present a picture which Astronics describe as "turning night into day". The Max-Viz start-up was financed with initial investments from a number of Portland area angel investors, strategic investments from FLIR Systems and, later, with venture capital funding from OVP Venture Partners, Alexander Hutton Venture Partners, Montlake Capital, and Highway 12 Ventures. Max-Viz licensed the microbolometer design from Honeywell for use in aviation and initially licensed the fusion patent (developed by Dr. Kerr) from FLIR Systems. In 2012, the company was acquired by Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO) as a wholly owned subsidiary.

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