Table of Contents

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • Departments

    • Analysis

      • Ada business rebounds in post-mandate software world
        Practitioners of the Ada computer language are enjoying a renaissance of sorts after enduring years of flat markets, failed expectations, industry derision, and outright abandonment from its earliest and strongest benefactor, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).
    • COTS Watch

    • In Brief

      • Unitrode military products switch to Texas Instuments
        Leaders of Texas Instruments Inc. in Sherman, Texas, are incorporating the former Unitrode military products into the Texas Instruments Semiconductor Military Products Division in Sherman, Texas. The change results from the Texas Instruments acquisition of Unitrode Corp. of Merrimack, N.H. TI officials say their engineers are working with the former Unitrode engineers to develop new power and battery-management products. For more information, contact the Texas Instruments Product Information Cen
      • Endevco unveils high-temperature triaxial accelerometer
        Designers at Endevco Corp. in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., are introducing their model 2230D high-temperature triaxial accelerometer to test for vibration on aircraft and automotive components. The device operates in temperatures as hot as 260 degrees Celsius, and enables test personnel to adhesively mount the accelerometer for vibration and shock measuremetns in extreme-temperature aerospace, industrial, and automotive applications. The 2230D has three charge-mode piezoelectric accelerometers i
      • 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 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 testing
      • 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
      • 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-
      • 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
      • 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
      • 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," Tobyhanna engineer Bruce Imel. Army leaders "wanted us to redesign the board the replacement component, but more components were located in the supply system. Not only di
      • Radstone unveils Flash memory adapter PMC
        Designers at Radstone Technology in Towcester, England, are announcing a compact Flash memory adapter in PCI mezzanine card (PMC) format called the PMCF2. The new cards come in five ruggedization levels for military and high-reliability industrial applications that need rugged, solid-state, non-volatile memory storage such as data logging, secure mission data, or application storage. It has eight megabytes of compact Flash memory, and uses one single-width PMC slot. For rugged air- and conductio
      • 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 Adva
      • Handful of companies dominate power electronics market
        Only nine vendors control more than 50 percent of the U.S. market for AD-DC switching power supplies and DC-DC converters, according to a new study, "U.S. Merchant Markets & Applications for AC/DC Switching Power Supplies & DC/DC Converters, Eighth Edition." The study, by Venture Development Corp. of Natick, Mass., says the top seven companies control nearly 50 percent of the market for AC-DC switching power supplies. Industry consolidation continues to be a major factor in the power electronics
      • Primagraphics introduces COTS air transport rack
        Designers at Primagrahics of Litlington, Nr. Royston, England, are offering a ruggedized convection-cooled commercial-off-the-shelf air transport rack (ATR) that meets ARINC Specification 404A. The hard-mounted top-loading card frame holds as many as five convection-cooled 6U VME boards, while a rugged backplane interfaces directly with rear-panel I/O connectors. Primagraphics recently supplied specialized VME-based video interface subsystems housed in this new ATR to The Boeing co. for use in t
    • Product Application Design Systems

      • Aircraft and missile designers choose power device with integrated EMI filtering
        Systems designers at several prominent defense and electronics companies had a common problem: they needed small integrated devices that not only control power, but also that filer out electromagnetic interference (EMI). Many of them found their solution in the ADDC028xx-series hybrid military DC-DC converters from Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) of Greensboro, N.C.
      • Los Alamos buys Fakespace immersive display system
        Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., needed a virtual reality-type display system to help them with a variety of graphics and visualization experiments. The Reconfigurable Advanced Visualization Environment — otherwise known as RAVE — from Fakespace Systems Inc. in Kitchener, Ontario, met their needs.
      • Storage Concepts FibreRAID disk helps target- recognition project
        Systems engineers at the Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector in Baltimore needed a way to acquire and store data from tests of an automated target recognition system. They found their solution with the FibreRAID 814 disk array from Storage Concepts Inc. of Irvine, Calif.
      • KVH fiber optic gyro chosen for signals intelligence
        Engineers at Delfin Systems, a Titan company in Santa Clara, Calif., needed a precise navigational system for a vehicle-mounted radio direction-finder system called the Interim Prophet Ground System. They found their solution in the TACNAV FOG system from KVH Industries Inc. of Middletown, R.I.
      • ITCN to provide test equipment for B-2 bomber software
        Engineers at the Northrop Grumman Corp. B-2 Division Integrated Systems and Aerostructurs Sector in Pico Rivera, Calif., needed test instrumentation for the B-2 stealth bomber Long Term software Support Facility program — otherwise known as LTSS.
      • Lockheed Martin chooses L-3 data acquisition systems
        Engineers at the Lockheed Martin Astronautics division in Denver needed data-acquisition and telemetry systems to support the Atlas V rocket. They found their answer in the Automated Data Acquisition Systems — otherwise known as the ADAS 5000s — from the L-3 Communications Telemetry & Instrumentation division in San Diego.
      • Analog Devices to supply new A-D converter for Patriot missile
        Tactical missile designers from Raytheon Co. in Lexington, Mass., needed high-speed analog-to-digital (A-D) converter modules to help them upgrade electronic subsystems in the Patriot anti-missile system, and in the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile — better known as AMRAAM.
      • Surface profiling, or the inspection of microscopic surface features on media
        Surface profiling, or the inspection of microscopic surface features on media, measures such details as pole-tip recession and air-bearing surface flatness. Early on, profilers dragged a stylus across the surface of the media, but that destroyed the sample; improvements on that design used lower-force tips to measure the surface, but still damaged enough sliders that profilers remained consigned to the laboratory. However, the advent of atomic force microscopy brought about the first noncontact
      • ne high-resolution profiler for the disk industry is the MP2200 from Chapman Instruments
        One high-resolution profiler for the disk industry is the MP2200 from Chapman Instruments, designed to be used as both a disk-production tool for production-floor in-line quality inspection and a research and development tool for establishing standards. While the `2200 uses the same noncontact measurement technology as the company`s earlier profilers, it features a shorter, 543-nm wavelength light source. This green laser lets the profiler make high-resolution measurements with up to 100-×
      • Another instrument used to measure disk media is the OptiFLAT substrate tester
        Another instrument used to measure disk media is the OptiFLAT substrate tester from ADE Phase Shift. Using white light, the tool measures the front-surface flatness of plane-parallel transparent substrates without coating the rear surface. The OptiFLAT features fully interactive data mapping, bearing-surface analysis, and data manipulation; uploading of statistics to networks; single-pass flatness and microwaviness data gathering; high-resolution CCD camera; and video alignment for tip/tilt and
      • Burleighs Horizon profilometer uses optical interferometric technology to nondestructively measure disk surface topography
        Burleigh`s Horizon profilometer uses optical interferometric technology to nondestructively measure disk surface topography. The Horizon has two modes: Smooth mode can measure roughness from the angstrom to the micron level on smooth and polished surfaces, while texture mode extends the vertical range to 100 mm, enabling measurement of rougher surfaces and steps. In a 16.5 by 12 by 22-inch footprint, the tool has a scan speed of 1.1 mm/sec at 480 by 480 pixels and a vertical range of 0.1 nm to 1
      • The NewView 5000 noncontact 3-D surface profiler from Zygo measures media surfaces nondestructively with no sample preparation required
        The NewView 5000 noncontact 3-D surface profiler from Zygo measures media surfaces nondestructively with no sample preparation required. A precision vertical scanning transducer and camera generate a 3-D interferogram of the surface that is then processed by the computer and transformed by frequency domain analysis into a quantitative 3-D image. The 5000`s vertical scan range varies from 0.1 nm to 5,000 mm and features field stitching to scan and display areas up to 100 × 100 mm and larger.
      • For fast measurement of pole-tip recession, Veeco Metrology Groups Wyko HD3500 optical profiler uses a 100-×
        For fast measurement of pole-tip recession, Veeco Metrology Group`s Wyko HD3500 optical profiler uses a 100-× Linnick objective, computer-controlled stages, and advanced analysis software. The HD3500 also characterizes such hard-to-measure slider features as DLC delamination.
      • A stylus-type profiler from Veeco Metrology Group, the Dektak V 200-Si
        A stylus-type profiler from Veeco Metrology Group, the Dektak V 200-Si, is aimed at measuring step heights on thin-film head wafers, sliders, and tape, along with surface texture and dub-off on hard disks. Because a stylus profiler`s data is unaffected by the opacity or reflectivity of a film, it`s used for measuring the thickness of transparent films such as diamond-like coatings on thin-film heads and sliders. The system features typical step height repeatability of 6 angstroms, 1 sigma to mea
      • A high-resolution profiler, the KLA-Tencor HRP-100 combines long-scan capability with the fine-area imaging capabilities of an atomic force microscope
        A high-resolution profiler, the KLA-Tencor HRP-100 combines long-scan capability with the fine-area imaging capabilities of an atomic force microscope.
    • Report from Washington and Elsewhere

      • The feedback loop of night vision devices
        ROANOKE, Va. — When ITT opened its production facility here in 1958, it`s not likely that anybody thought much about future consumer products or other non-military opportunities. ITT officials built the facility, located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to design night vision devices solely for U.S. military forces.
    • Viewpoint

  • News

    • Virtual prototyping is revolutionizing aircraft system design
      St. Louis —Design anywhere, build anywhere, in less time and at lower cost. Those are key goals of aerospace engineering for aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft — and the key to reaching that goal is virtual prototyping.
    • PEC learns a hard lesson in pushing components beyond manufacturer specifications
      WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Engineers at Peripheral Equipment Corp. (PEC) in Westlake Village, Calif., are being forced to switch glass suppliers and reduce the sizes of their liquid crystal displays because their existing design is not rugged enough for harsh military environments.
    • Display from Computing Devices Canada flies on NATO AWACS
      NEPEAN, Ontario — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization`s fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft will use the 2010-AM(A) flat panel displays from Computing Devices Canada in Nepean, Ontario.
    • Vistas mil-spec PowerPC 750-based device rides on Abrams tank
      SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Engineers at Vista Controls, a Lau Defense Systems company, have field tested their mil-spec GPCP 750 (general purpose control processor) single-board computer on the U.S. Army M1 Abrams main battle tank from General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, Mich.
    • FPDP II to more than double data rate of original FPDP
      OTTAWA — Experts at of Interactive Circuits & Systems (ICS) in Ottawa, Ontario, are designing the next generation of the Front Panel Data Port (FPDP) specification, dubbed FPDP II. The new spec will have a 400 megabyte-per-second sustained data transfer rate.
    • Virtual Prototypes finds a dual use for VAPS in the auto sector
      MONTREAL — Officials at simulation and design specialist Virtual Prototypes in Montreal have joined hands with experts at Telelogic AB in Malmo, Sweden, to create an embedded system design and deployment solution for the automobile industry.
    • MIL-HDBK-217 replacement highlights Aprils COTScon East 2000 in Washington
      WASHINGTON — COTScon East 2000, the third annual conference and exhibition dedicated to electronic systems design with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and software, will be April 17 to 18 at the Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel in Washington, D.C.
  • Features

    • Special Report

      • Obsolescence: every COTS designers bad dream
        Commercial technology continues to make the U.S. military the most advanced in the world at a competitive price. However, designers of defense platforms that need to last 20 to 30 years spend much of their time creating new ways to accommodate the powerful commercial technology that goes obsolete in 18 months
    • Technology Focus

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Mil & Aero Magazine

August 2015
Volume 26, Issue 8

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