Bethesda, Md.-based technology systems manufacturer Lockheed Martin and Italian military communications supplier Selex Communications are collaborating on a new obstacle detection and avoidance system based on laser and imaging technology, called the Laser Obstacle and Avoidance Monitoring (LOAM) system. The companies will jointly evaluate potential US military and civilian markets for the technology and Lockheed Martin will act as prime contractor in the US. The system enables a helicopter to fly more safely by detecting potentially dangerous obstacles -- including cables as small as 5 mm in diameter -- to give the crew time to avoid a collision. The system has been selected for use in the Italian NH90 TTH helicopter. . . . Semiconductor foundry Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing of Singapore has appointed Simon Yang as senior vice president and chief technology officer, a newly created position. Most recently, Yang was president and CEO of Ciwest, a new semiconductor startup based in China. An 18-year veteran of the semiconductor industry, Yang has been awarded 12 US patents and is the author or co-author of more than 30 technical papers.