Green Hills operating system chosen for Marine Corps helicopter avionics computer upgrade

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., 14 Feb. 2013. Military avionics designers at the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems segment needed a multicore software operating system for the company's Gen II mission computer for the U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopter avionics upgrades. They found their solution from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Designers at the Northrop Grumman Situational Awareness Systems business unit in Woodland Hills, Calif., are choosing the Green Hills Integrity-178B tuMP multicore operating system for the Gen II mission computer involved in the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopter avionics upgrades.

The Northrop Grumman Technical Refresh mission computer hosts the Integrity-178B Time-Variant Unified Multi Processing (tuMP) capabilities using a Freescale QorIQ P4080-based single-board computer.

"The UH-1Y and AH-1Z are highly integrated combat helicopters that require mission computers with significant yet flexible computing capabilities, which can be updated to support specific configurations," says Ike Song, vice president of Northrop Grumman Situational Awareness Systems.

The UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters are in full production by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Northrop Grumman Gen II mission computers are the heart of the company's Integrated Avionics System (IAS) that powers the glass cockpit avionics of the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters.

The mission computers provide centralized control of the IAS, interface with the tactical moving map, and display situational awareness and health monitoring information. The IAS and mission computers also have an open, modular architecture to enable system upgrades and technology insertion.

The mission computers will show critical information on four displays in each of the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters, which make up the Marine Corps light attack helicopter squadrons.

The H-1 Upgrade program involves replacing aging AH-1W and UH-1N helicopters with upgraded UH-1Y and AH-1Z aircraft to improve commonality, reliability, and maintainability. The upgraded helicopters have 100 percent software commonality through Northrop Grumman's IAS.

The Green Hills Software tuMP multicore operating system is the foundation for the Northrop Grumman open-systems avionics computer architecture.

The Green Hills safety-critical avionics computer operating system features a multicore framework for integrating applications of different programming languages, portable operating environments, and assurance needs. Integrity-178B tuMP enables the mission computer to use the eight cores of the Freescale QorIQ P4080 microprocessor.

The Green Hills tuMP software technology defines groupings called affinity groups of how one or more software applications will use microprocessor cores.

The operating system schedules sets of affinity groups independently of other sets to permit time-lines that closely correspond to application requirements, yet enable development of other sets of affinity groups that use time windows where cores are idle.

Schedule support enables the tuMP to tailor available applications and processor time resources as necessary. Integrity-178B tuMP extends partitioning support beyond single-core processors to host several applications while preserving resources for application growth.

For more information contact Green Hills Software online at, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems at, or Bell Helicopter Textron at

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