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Export award winners fly under the radar

NVision Solutions makes sensors that profile ships and creates maps that are used for military targeting purposes.

NVision Solutions makes sensors that profile ships and creates maps that are used for military targeting purposes.

By JACK WEATHERLY 

Two Mississippi companies are not really working together, but they are producing things that work together.

Tupelo-based Hyperion Technology Group produces a sniper detection system that “puts a dot on a map and says, ‘Shoot here.’” said Geoffrey Carter, president.

Coincidentally, NVision Solutions of Diamondhead is a maker of “maps they put the dots on,” said Craig Harvey, co-founder and chief operating officer.

The two companies have another thing in common, they received the 2015 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Exporting, Hyperion for manufacturing and NVision in the service sector.

Hyperion was founded in 2009 and employs more than 20, nearly all of whom are engineers. It also makes sensors to detect very low frequency sound in volcanic activity and earthquakes. Its foreign sales constitute about 9 percent of its revenue, Carter said.

Trilogy Communications of Pearl, which makes coaxial cable that provides wireless communication, won a Governor’s Award for Export Achievement.

Its business seems torn out of newspaper headlines.

It is the exclusive provider of the cable that enables the largest mining company in Chile, Codelco, with the ability to communicate with miners, whether in normal daily operations or in emergencies, said Chief Executive Ryan Cole.

So if there were a recurrence of a 2010 cave-in that trapped 33 Chilean miners and inspired the movie “The 33” there would be a way to communicate, Cole said.

Codelco, a state-owned copper mining company, assisted in the 69-day rescue effort in the mine owned by another company.

After Hurricane Sandy flooded the New York and New Jersey Port Authority subway tunnels in 2012, Trilogy was able to land an exclusive contract to provide wireless communication because its cable is waterproof, Cole said.

Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Mississippi coast in 2005, exposed the fragmented state of communication between state and local governments and Trilogy provided its technology to a statewide communication system that is second to none, Cole said.

The company employs 60 at its 300,000-square-foot plant and exports make up about 5 percent of its revenue, Cole said.

One of the sensors that NVision makes profiles ships, Harvey said, adding that it’s an advanced version of the kind of technology used for that purpose in the “The Hunt for Red October,” which was based one of the best-selling novels by Tom Clancy.

Founded in 2002 in the NASA incubator at the Stennis Space Center, the company expects its latest contract will enable it to expand from its current 72 employees to about 100, he said.

Its annual revenue is between $5 million and $7 million, with about $250,000 in foreign trade, according to Harvey.

Winning the Governor’s Award for Export Achievement in manufacturing was Wood Industries in Belmont.

Wood makes air compressors, air tools and air-powered accessories.

Its compressors are sold under three brands: Iron Horse, Eagle and MAXair Premium. The company also build compressors for private labels.

About half of its business is in overseas trade in about 12 countries, said Jeff Wood, the owner.

Remarking on the “small world” of Mississippi exporters, Hyperion’s Carter said that “it’s entirely feasible” that the four top winners of the awards could “all work together.”

He sketched a scenario in which the data from his company and NVision is carried over Trilogy’s cables, and even that one or more of the companies uses compressors made by Wood Industries.

About Jack Weatherly

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