Continuing the Tradition of Innovation
Founded by Walter J. Zable, Cubic began life as a small electronics company in a San Diego storefront in 1951. The employees' tireless efforts over the next few years laid the foundation for large-scale product diversification and growth. During the decade of the 1960s, Cubic grew by 588 percent.
Among Cubic's early successes were the introduction of products such as precision distance measuring equipment, and aerial photo mapping and survey systems. The company also developed the nation's first electronic stadium scoreboard in 1966 for San Diego's stadium.
Cubic also gained worldwide recognition for its geodetic SECOR satellite surveying system, the first of its kind to produce a direct coast-to-coast measurement of the United States. The solid-state system was introduced in the early 1960s, long before the advent of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
By 1968, Cubic had introduced more than 60 products and services generating sales in excess of $28 million. A major contributor to Cubic's profits and growth in the 1960s was the Electrotape Distance Measuring Instrument - the world's first commercial distance surveying system to provide centimeter accuracy from 100 meters to 50 kilometers. It modernized how land surveying was conducted for mapping, subdivisions, land development and engineering construction. The system provided a major cost savings to users.
The Electrotape was followed by the Autotape - the first two-range, high-accuracy positioning system for the petroleum and offshore construction industry. It was used for major pipe-laying and off-shore construction projects throughout the world before the advent of GPS technology. The system revolutionized the oil industry, since it allowed offshore oil exploration without the fear of drilling in the wrong spot.
Cubic became even more profitable with the introduction of the ARGO offshore positioning system, a long-range ship positioning system that was the standard tool for U.S. and Australian hydrographic fleets.
Entering the Defense Marketplace
At the same time, Cubic produced precision distance and angle measurement (tracking) systems for aircraft and test missile ranges around the world. These core technologies led to the development of combat training instrumented systems that provided positioning and tracking systems, and data fusion and display.
By 1973, the company leveraged its expertise in data links, data processing and precision tracking of high dynamic targets to create the world's first "Top Gun" ACMI system for the Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma, Ariz. Later, Cubic pioneered the world's first turnkey ground combat - instrumentation system at Hohenfels, Germany.
The same technologies were incorporated into Cubic's broadcast data links and combat personnel recovery system, which were used successfully during Operation Desert Storm and in peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.
The Mass Transportation Business
Cubic first became involved in the dynamic market of mass transportation in 1971, when it acquired Western Data Products of Los Angeles. A year later, the Group supplied its first Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system for Chicago's Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, and by the late 1970s, installed AFC systems for the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the Eastern Suburbs Railway in Sydney.
Other major awards followed, including a contract to deliver AFC equipment for the second phase of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in San Francisco; a contract from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in 1975 to produce AFC equipment for the transit system in Washington, D.C.; and an award from the Pennsylvania Port Authority Transit Company to develop the nation's first AFC system to utilize plastic magnetically encoded tickets.
Continuing the Tradition of Innovation
Cubic's tradition of innovation continues into the 21st century as Cubic's cutting-edge research and development holds promise for customers worldwide. Today, the company's major businesses- Cubic Global Defense and Cubic Transportation Systems - have become world leaders in their respective industries with leading edge technologies.
In other areas, including cyber security and RFID, Cubic is committed to expanding and improving upon its products and systems to meet the diverse needs of national defense and intelligence communities.