CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – Global positioning system devices now used by thousands of soldiers worldwide will be sold commercially by defense contractor Rockwell Collins Inc., according to Business Week. The Polaris-branded devices to be sold to customers, such as those in homeland security and search and rescue agencies, will offer the same functions and durability of the military versions, the company said. The announcement was made at the Defence Systems & Equipment International Exhibition in London.

The Polaris Guide is a GPS receiver that can be mounted in a vehicle or hand-held. It will be available for use in any federal, civilian, military, or international platforms requiring real-time positioning data. The Polaris Explosive Resistant GPS is available and is designed for vehicle and ship applications requiring the ruggedness to resist mine or improvised explosive device detonations.

The GPS receivers can be used to patrol borders and monitor seaports, lakes, and rivers. The receivers can also be used to assist in disaster response and search and rescue operations. The company has delivered more than 156,000 units to military customers and has orders for 50,000 more.

Rockwell Collins also released a helmet-mounted GPS navigation system for parachutists, according to Business Week. ParaNav is a personal, GPS-based, flight management system with an integrated head-up display. It provides parachutists with accurate navigation capabilities and enhanced situational awareness, allowing them to fly to their designated landing zones.

Cedar Rapids-based Rockwell Collins has 20,000 employees in 27 countries.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials