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Whistleblower suit accuses Northrop Grumman of fudging GPS systems testing

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posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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An employee of defense contractor Northrop Grumman has accused the company of faking tests on its LN-100 Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS). The GPS unit is installed on "various aircraft, including helicopters and unmanned drones (including the Predator drone), missiles, submarines, and other vehicles," the lawsuit said
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The tests took 10 minutes to run on each LN-100 unit. Donaldson's complaint against Northrop stated that because the LN-100 units typically failed the GPS Communication Test, “Defendant has taken to having its technicians manually key in positive responses, such that the word 'pass' appears on a print-out of the tests without the test actually being run.”

Donaldson, who has worked at Northrop Grumman since 1986, said that he brought up the issue internally but was demoted, “as a result of his internal complaints regarding fake testing results on the LN -100 and other improper acts of Defendant.”

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Is it just making collecting money easier or does the system actually function at the level claimed. Wonder how much more fake testing occurs.




posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 11:02 AM
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Not really surprised to see more of this cropping up. There were three against Boeing recently claiming their aircraft were unsafe. They stood to make over $4B under the whistleblower laws if it had been upheld.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: roadgravel

Not making excuses for cheating on contracts but, the test taking 10 minutes could be a what's known a cold start and if the default position is too far away from the real one, you could hand seed the coordinate to speed up the test and essentially get the same result. The test of satellite tracking remains valid.

A true cold start is really only encountered at first boot up or after more than 12 months without being powered up.

I'm just saying, the details could indicate if they are just making the test faster or bypassing the test altogether. Believe me, if the GNSS isn't tracking they'll find out right quick post deployment in system tests. I don't see how it could turn into a safety of life scandal.
edit on 9-10-2014 by InverseLookingGlass because: word



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 11:36 AM
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I would not surprised if testers were doing it. I have seen programmers and test people making short cuts to speed things up. Invalids the tests just a bit. Makes it easy to miss intermittent problems.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 06:58 PM
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I don't see how it could turn into a safety of life scandal.


I not think that. I just wonder if in the long run the tax payer will end up pay more for changes.

I guess I should not expect more from government related workers.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

I've seen tests that they "cheated" on before that didn't need to have any changes made. It's simply a shortcut to keep from having to wait two hours for the full warmup, or whatever.

Whistleblowers aren't always telling the truth.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

And I have seen test where cheating did matter.

Anyway, it is fine as long as they don't get money for the time they save. EG: the contract includes payment based on 1 hour testing but the actual tests take 10 minutes.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 07:13 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

The money covers the entire development program. These tests are probably late in the run, after they already have done the full up test. If someone comes in late, and sees them "cheating" they're going to assume that they it doesn't work right and they didn't do the work right.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 07:16 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

proof will be down the road but I doubt we will ever hear if these systems have a set back.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

NG has too much to risk to try cheating and selling a screwed up product. They don't have enough of the market compared to LM and Boeing to risk pissing off the Pentagon.

But if it is, it'll get out fast enough.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 08:04 PM
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That does seem reasonable. Probably a whole lot about nothing.



posted on Oct, 9 2014 @ 08:31 PM
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a reply to: roadgravel

In fact NG just lost another big radar contract.

www.abovetopsecret.com...



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