A roundup of business developments spotted by other publications.
Super Library: E-Systems Inc. of Dallas announced its first commercial contract for the development of a database that could store 100 trillion characters of information--four times as much as the Library of Congress. The EMass system, to be built for the exploration unit of Mobil Corp., compresses 200 standard magnetic computer tapes into two high-density tapes and uses robots to retrieve the tapes from shelves. Neither E-Systems nor Mobil disclosed the size of the contract, but the initial phase appears to be worth $5 million. Philip J. Rasch of E-Systems estimated that $2 billion worth of massive storage systems could be sold in this decade. Dallas Morning News
Target Expansion: Positioning itself as the nation's third-largest discount chain, behind K mart and Wal-Mart, Dayton Hudson Corp. of Minneapolis announced that it will double the pace of construction of Target stores, opening 300 outlets in five years. Chairman Kenneth Macke said 80 new Mervyn's stores will also be opened in that period, triple the present rate of seven stores this year. George Rosenbaum of Leo J. Shapiro & Associates, a market research firm in Chicago, called the plan surprisingly small. Target operates 407 stores in 32 states; Mervyn's has 221 stores in 15 states, with 1989 revenues of $7.5 billion and $3.9 billion respectively. St. Paul Pioneer Press
Calling Cars: Two U.S. firms are marketing anti-theft devices for automobiles that emit radio signals allowing police to track unauthorized drivers. International Teletrac Systems of Inglewood and Lo-Jack Corp. of Needham, Mass., each use transmitters that bounce ratio signals off communications towers to a control center operated by the company, which forwards the information to police. Teletrac's marketing vice president, Maurice Nieman, said he expects units to be priced at about $600 installed, plus $10 a month for service. The company said its location system in Los Angeles will begin operating this year. Toronto Globe and Mail
Clean Up: When Research-Cottrell of Summerville, N.J., went public last August, it changed its name to Air & Water Technologies to better position itself for business. Sales at AWT have rocketed from $5.4 million in 1987 to $606.5 million in 1989. A recent $100-million investment by Compagnie Generale Eaux, the world's largest water company, will not only give AWT capital to "fertilize existing pastures," according to the company's chairman but will also give it access to European markets. Star-Ledger