Albuquerque engineering firm Fiore Industries Inc. has won a $1.2 million, three-year Air Force contract to conduct electromagnetic-resistence testing on B-2 aircraft.
The company, a homegrown firm launched in 1989 by President and CEO Bill Miera, will build the test equipment in New Mexico and conduct testing on B-2 aircraft stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.
“We’ll make sure B-2 aircraft can effectively stand up to all electromagnetic events and that all the electronics are working and functional during those events,” Miera said. “We build and sell the hardware to do the tests using fiber optic links that we hook up with the avionics to see how electromagnetics affect them.”
Fiore’s equipment converts electrical signals from electromagnetic events into laser-light signals that are sent through the fiber optic cable and then converted back to electrical signals.
“We put the signals into a data acquisition system to tell us what is happening in the aircraft and whether there are problems or not to verify that the aircraft will be OK in an electromagnetic event,” Miera said.
The company also makes and installs sensors to measure the amount of voltage in any given area and the current traveling on wires, with those signals also sent to the data acquisition system.
It’s old-school for Fiore, which has built such equipment and conducted testing services for more than three decades, managing many Department of Defense contracts.
Last year, the firm won a $6 million, three-year contract with the Navy to build next-generation equipment with broader bandwidth to improve testing.
Over the last decade, Fiore has significantly diversified its customer base, adding commercial customers and other state and federal agencies to its client roster, such as NASA.
It has diversified its services as well to manage safety and protection operations at facilities.
That includes Spaceport America in southern New Mexico, where Fiore oversees safety and emergency services. And the company recently launched cybersecurity “penetration testing” for clients to assess their information technology systems.
Diversification has accelerated growth. Fiore expects to reach $20 million in revenue this year, up from $9.2 million in 2017, and just $5.4 million in 2012.
The company operates a 10,000-square-foot facility in north Albuquerque, and currently employs about 140 people.
No one was laid off during the coronavirus, Miera said. But the pandemic has significantly delayed projects and created challenges, with many employees now working from home.
“The coronavirus has put a damper on things and hurt us,” Miera said. “But we got assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program in the second round of loans. That’s helping us tremendously.”