Table of Contents

Military & Aerospace Electronics

01/01/2000
Volume 11, Issue 1
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  • Departments

    • COTS Watch

    • In Brief

      • Lockheed Martin engineers eye hand-held mine detector
        Scientists at the Lockheed Martin Infrared Imaging Systems division in Lexington, Mass., are designing a high-resolution acoustical imaging system called SonoCam that has the potential to distinguish mines from mine-like objects at sea even in the murkiest waters. SonoCam will be a small battery-operated hand-held unit with an acoustical lens that can produce real-time 3D images. Not only does the device have military applications such as mine hunting at sea, but it also may lend itself to medic
      • Red Hat broadens its influence in Linux software
        Leaders of Red Hat Software Inc., a Linux operating system distributor in Research Triangle Park, N.C., are bolstering their clout in the Linux software market with their acquisition of Cygnus Solutions of Sunnyvale, Calif. Red Hat got Cygnus in a stock swap announced Nov. 15 worth $674 million. Leaders of both companies say they plan to continue developing open-source software. Open-source software provides the inner workings of software free of charge to developers. Red Hat and Cygnus official
      • Government certifies Unitrode as space electronics supplier
        Officials of the U.S. Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC) in Columbus, Ohio, certified Unitrode Corp. of Merrimack, N.H., as a Class V linear integrated circuit supplier for satellite communications, as well as military, and commercial telecommunications applications. Class V, an appendix in the MIL-PRF-38535 Qualified Manufacturing List, certifies that manufacturers have process control for products suitable for use in space. Unitrode, which manufactures analog/linear and mixed-signal ICs for
      • DARPA taps Boeing to write cyber-defense software
        Software engineers at the Boeing Phantom Works Division Directorate in Seattle are developing software to defend against information warfare attacks across several different computer domains. The 20-month $2.8 million project, called Multi-Community Cyber Defense, will develop software that automatically responds to intrusions into computer networks that typically operate with different security policies and procedures. Officials of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate
      • Lockheed Martin to provide smarts for helicopter program
        Engineers at Lockheed Martin Federal Systems in Owego, N.Y., developed cognitive decision-aiding technologies for the U.S. Army Rotorcraft Pilot`s Associate program, which gives helicopter pilots real-time help in making split-second decisions, and helps alleviate information overload. The Rotorcraft Pilot`s Associate — better known as RPA — is one of the Army`s largest technology demonstration projects. The Boeing Co. of Mesa, Ariz., is the prime contractor, and Lockheed Martin is the
      • PEP unveils industrial-grade 3U VME processor
        Leaders of PEP Modular Computers Inc. in Pittsburgh are introducing an industrial-grade PowerPC-based 3U single-board computer called the MPC8240. The board, built on the PowerPC 603e core, is available in two temperature operating ranges — zero to 70 degrees Celsius, or -40 to 85 C. PEP officials offer the board either with 200 MHz or 250 MHz processors, as much as 128 megabytes of SDRAM, as much as 8 megabytes direct soldered Flash memory, and an option either for 512 kilobytes NVRAM, or
      • Analog devices offers RF-measuring chip
        Designers at Analog Devices Inc. of Norwood, Mass., are introducing their AD8361 TruPwr Detection RF integrated circuit — a root mean square-to-direct current converter that operates at radio frequencies to measure complex waveforms such as traditional and wideband Code Division Multiple Access. The chip operates over a VHF/UHF frequency range of 100 MHz to 2.5 GHz, which is appropriate for wireless communications such as two-way radio, radio networks, and worldwide cellular phones. Other a
      • Rockwell to develop sensor networking system
        Experts from the Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif., are developing technology for advanced sensor networks under the supervision of the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va. The project, called Distributed Services for Microsensor Networks, is to develop a distributed runtime middleware environment for microsensor networks. The environment is to have domain-specific services, communication abstractions, and application program interfaces to allow plug-in
      • Lockheed Martin software engineers achieve SEI Level 5
        Software programmers at the Lockheed Martin Ocean, Radar & Sensors Systems division in Syracuse, N.Y., have achieved the highest possible rating from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Lockheed Martin has received the coveted SEI Level Five from SEI auditors, bestowing on the company honors as one of the top software producers in the world. Only 12 companies have received SEI Level Five — four of them divisions of Lockheed Martin, company o
      • Actel to broaden rad-hard FPGA offerings
        Engineers at Actel Corp. in Sunnyvale, Calif., are expanding their line of radiation-tolerant field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The new RTSX-S devices, which Actel experts say they will qualify for space applications, are based on Actel`s 0.25-micron antifuse SX-A FPGAs. Fabricating the new devices will be Matsushita Electronics Co. in Japan. Actel has identified two devices for the new rad-tolerant FPGA line — the RTSX32S with 56,000 system gates, and the RTSX72S with 108,000 system
      • Army improves circuit cards for anti-tank missiles
        Engineers at the U.S. Army Tobyhanna Army Depot in Tobyhanna, Pa., are building 200 multilayer circuit cars for the tube Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire Command-Link Guided missile system — better known as TOW. The story is a familiar one — product obsolescence. "One of the components on the old board was obsolete," says Tobyhanna engineer Bruce Imel. Army leaders "wanted us to redesign the board with the replacement component, but more components were located in the supply system."
      • Collins develops battlefield data communications
        Engineers at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are developing a geo-location system to enable soldiers in the field to communicate, exchange files, and conduct videoconferences. The project is to provide position and navigational information for Phase 3 of the Small Unit Operations Situational Awareness System, which is to comply with the emerging Joint Tactical Radio System Architecture. Collins is part of an ITT Industries Aerospace/Communications team working with the U.S. Defense Advan
      • Vishay offers high- temperature aluminum electrolytic capacitors
        Experts at Vishay Intertechnology Inc. of Malvern, Pa., are introducing a new family of high-temperature aluminum electrolytic capacitors for military and automotive applications. Vishay`s new capacitors, which operate in temperatures as hot as 150 degrees Celsius, are to smooth, filter, couple, and decouple circuits. The devices, called the EBH/EGH series, have useful lifetimes without derating of 1,500 hours at 150 C, 5,000 hours at 125 C, 19,000 hours at 105 C, and more than 500,000 hours 
      • Air Force improves search-and-rescue radio
        Experts from the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, and the Boeing Co. in Anaheim, Calif., have tested a new military handheld search-and-rescue communications survival system called the Combat Survivor Evader Locator. The so-called CSEL is the first military search and rescue radio that provides multi-satellite, over-the-horizon communications and a new military global positioning system module in a small, light system. Production of CSEL will begin in 2002. During test
      • Aeroflex offers new MIPS processor multichip module
        Experts at Aeroflex Circuit Technology in Plainview, N.Y., are releasing a new MIPS microprocessor multichip module (MCM) for military and high-reliability applications. The new ACT-5271SC 64-bit superscalar microprocessor MCM not only offers improvements over the model`s previous generation, but also is plug-in compatible with older Aeroflex MIPS MCMs. The MCM has two megabytes of embedded secondary cache, comes in a 280 lead ceramic flat pack, and is compatible with the Aeroflex R4400-based MC
      • CPU offers upgrade approach that retains existing software
        Designers at CPU Technology Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., are building a core processing architecture that they say will make it possible to upgrade some of the U.S. military`s embedded electronic systems while retaining the value of existing application software and software development tools. CPU Tech is doing the work under the aegis of the U.S. Navy`s Dual Use Science & Technology program. CPU`s program aims directly at the problem of rapid system obsolescence. Today`s embedded computers often
      • Advanced Power offers hermetic COTS electronics
        Engineers at Advanced Power Technology (APT) in Bend, Ore., are offering hermetic commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) power devices as less-expensive alternatives to military-grade parts. These devices are offered as COTS without screening, company officials say. The surface-mount Advanced Power metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) devices are characterized over the full military temperature range of -55 to 125 degrees Celsius, are ISO 9000 registered, and are certified to MIL-
      • Synergy offers quad G4 processor board
        Engineers at Synergy Microsystems in San Diego are offering their new Motorola MPC7400 G4 PowerPC microprocessor on all of their PowerPC-based VME and CompactPCI single-board computers. These offerings include the Synergy VSS4 quad-CPU board with 400 MHz G4 microprocessor. Synergy designers tuned this board to deliver as much power as 16 billion floating point operations per second to digital signal processors and array processing applications. In addition to strong core processor performance, t
      • To The Editor: With regret I am writing this letter concerning the Viewpoint article
        With regret I am writing this letter concerning the Viewpoint article, "Marrying military and commercial microelectronic production lines," by Greg Saunders in the November 1999 issue of Military & Aerospace Electronics.
    • Product Application Design Systems

      • New ASIC line replaces FPGAs, CPLDs in image generators
        Engineers at Salt Lake City-based Evans & Sutherland rely on new electronic components driven by the boom in consumer electronics. The downside of this, however, is parts obsolescence. The parts they need often are no longer available through the typical life cycle of the company`s image-generation systems.
      • Air Canada selects Persistence Software to automate aircraft maintenance
        Officials at the airline Air Canada in Montreal needed a design tool to monitor aircraft fleet for faults and reduce maintenance downtime.
      • Magellan GPS system helps rescue stricken sailors at sea
        Two Norwegian sailors perhaps did not realize how much they needed a combination Global Positioning System (GPS) and wireless communications system before they were stricken at sea. They found — after their rescue — that the Magellan GSC 100 hand-held communications system from Magellan Corp. in San Dimas, Calif., was precisely what they needed.
      • Intergraph ViZual workstation used for RAF facility
        Experts at Visual Presence Ltd. and Alenia Marconi Systems are using the TDZ 2000 ViZual Workstations from Intergraph Computer Systems in Huntsville, Ala., to power the United Kingdom`s Royal Air Force (RAF) F3 Tornado aircraft multiple-display maintenance training simulators developed by Virtual Presence Ltd.
      • KVH to supply British army with TACNAV systems
        United Kingdom (U.K.) army officials have ordered their first supply of TACNAV systems from KVH Industries in Middletown, R.I., in a move to equip their armored vehicles for the digital battlefield.
      • CNSA grants authorized vendor status to GTE for TACLANE IP/ATM encryptors
        Officials at the National Security Agency (NSA) in Washington granted a GTE`s Government Systems request to become an authorized vendor for the TACLANE Internet Protocol (IP)/ Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) encryptor on a direct-sale basis.
    • Report from Washington and Elsewhere

    • Trends

      • Army to use Harris Falcon II HF and VHF tactical radios in telemedicine
        FORT DETRICK, Md. — U.S. Army leaders are beginning to apply telemedicine techniques to the battlefield with a standard tactical radio system. Initially they will use only voice units mounted in High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles, but will later use digital voice and data in individual soldier manpacks.
    • Viewpoint

      • VIM: the high-performance mezzanine
        Designers of open-architecture embedded systems who face constant market pressures must always consider ways to take advantage of the latest processors and peripherals. The silicon vendors are doing their part by steadily pushing up clock speeds and data transfer rates. Yet the standard board, bus, and backplane technologies available today often are the chief culprits in limiting overall system performance.
  • News

    • PowerPC and Fibre Channel to power new F/A-18E/F avionics
      KANATA, Ontario — A major avionics upgrade to the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Boeing F-18E/F Hornet jet fighter-bomber will rely on the PowerPC microprocessor and the Fibre Channel high-speed serial data bus.
    • Navy Acoustics-Rapid COTS Insertion program heads list of successes at COTScon West 99
      SAN DIEGO — Many military programs are employing commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, according to participants in the COTScon West`99 conference last month in San Diego. Yet the one that got the most attention was the Acoustics-Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) program to upgrade the U.S. Navy`s submarine fleet.
    • Military turning to palmtop computing in a big way
      Yet another new networking acronym is about to descend on the U.S. military — PAN — short for personal area network. And it is the evolution of PAN that will turn the 21st Century soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine into a self-contained voice and data communications system, with instant links to the rest of his squad in the field or as high up the chain of command as may be necessary.
    • Joint Tactical Radio System poses serious security challenges
      WASHINGTON — Designers of the U.S. Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) propose to succeed, where others have failed, in building a truly programmable, dynamically switched, multi-waveform radio.
    • LCD panels separated from control panels for combat vehicle use
      DULUTH, Ga. — Engineers at Barco Inc. are prototyping a family of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for combat vehicles in which systems integrators can separate the panels as far as 15 feet apart from the control module.
    • NDDS software tool helps engineers integrate shipboard network
      SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Experts at Real-Time Innovations (RTI) are providing a real-time software tool for the U.S. Navy San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship (LPD-17) to help lower development costs.
  • Features

    • Special Report

      • Network-centric warfare 21st century
        The growing use of data and voice networks have the potential to blend decision makers, sensors, and shooters into an efficient and lethal mix of flexible, coordinated, and fast-moving combat forces
    • Technology Focus

      • Rugged COTS computers embracing CompactPCI
        The rugged classification for military computers, once heading quickly away from mil-spec classifications to embrace commercial technology, has started inching back toward military specifications, while designers of rugged computers are starting to push away from the VME architecture toward CompactPCI

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