High-speed 1553: a promising technology wasted by the military

By John Keller
Editor in Chief

Most would agree in this day and age that the U.S. government—particularly the Department of Defense (DOD)—no longer can afford to waste money. Hundred-dollar hammers and thousand-dollar toilet seats simply MUST become things of the past. With federal budgets and the global economy as tight as they are, every dollar has to count.

Nevertheless, over the past several years, the U.S. Air Force walked away from a high-speed avionics databus program after spending millions. Almost everyone concerned with this program thought it was a great idea, but the Air Force killed the program anyway because it didn’t have high enough priority.

The project involved Air Force and U.S. Navy avionics researchers and avionics databus specialists at Edgewater Computer Systems in Ottawa. The idea was to develop a military-standard, high-speed version of the widely installed MIL-STD-1553 databus, which required little rewiring or other modifications to existing aircraft with 1553 already installed.

The program, called Extended 1553 (E1553), proposed to move data through existing 1553 wiring at speeds as fast as 200 megabits per second—a two-hundred-fold increase from 1553’s 1-megabit-per-second speed. You probably haven’t heard much lately about E1553 because the Air Force has pulled the plug on the program after spending in the neighborhood of $40 to $50 million.

This program wasn’t just sandbox research in its early stages. Scientists at Edgewater had flight-tested the technology with encouraging results aboard an Air Force F-16 jet fighter. The Navy also sponsored tests of E1553 aboard an F/A-18 fighter-bomber, also with encouraging results.

A competing high-speed 1553 technology from Data Device Corp. in Bohemia, N.Y., called HyPer-1553, had interest from the Pentagon, although it never received military backing as an official research program. DDC’s HyPer-1553 technology was demonstrated on a Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle jet fighter-bomber in 2006, but never received the necessary government funding or program of record to make it a viable product.

The beauty of E1553 and HyPer-1553 lies in the ease of installation, ease of maintenance, and economical costs of installing high-speed networking on a wide variety of military platforms—not only aircraft, but also others that use 1553, like the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank and other vetronics programs.

These two modes of high-speed 1553 require no rewiring to upgrade from conventional 1553 to high-speed 1553 because the data moves equally well over the same wiring. The high-speed databus on these platforms could function not only as a control bus, as 1553 was designed to be, but also as a high-speed data pipe carrying sensor data, imagery, and video.

This kind of technology potentially could lead to affordable sensor- fusion systems on legacy aircraft, such as the F-16, F/A-18, and F-15, similar to those in more modern aircraft, such as the F-22 and F-35. In armored combat vehicles, this technology could facilitate installing affordable self-protection systems to safeguard vehicles from threats, such as missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.

For the time being, it’s all about upgrading existing systems economically. Let’s face it, this is what the U.S. military faces over the next several years. There is very little money available for new starts like the F-35, and we’ve already seen the massive Future Combat Systems program cancelled due to budget issues and capability issues.

If the U.S. military is going to maintain itself as a viable fighting force over the next decade, technology insertion and systems upgrades to existing weapon systems will be crucial.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

Flexible Printed Circuit Board

Flexible Printed Circuit Boards are one of the most popular types of circuit boards used in a var...

Rigid Printed Circuit Boards

Rigid printed circuit boards can only meet diverse industrial applications if the best materials ...

Printed Circuit Board Assembly

Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCB ASSY) is as critical a process as circuit board manufacturing.

UniSlide® Stages

UniSlide Assemblies deliver precise movement in one, two or three dimensions with linear motion. ...

Velmex VXM™ Motor Controller

Velmex VXM Controller Systems are integral components of the power systems that efficiently drive...

Velmex XSlide™ Stages

The Velmex XSlide Assembly is a compact positioning stage highly suitable for high performance in...

BiSlide® Stages

Velmex manual or motorized BiSlide positioning stage's modular design makes it highly configurabl...

Video Borescope ORION

Ø 4mm (0.16”) to 10mm (0.44”)Working Lengths: up to 30 meters (98')3.5” color LCD display, with 7...

Rigid Video Borescope HERON-A with Tip Articulation

CMOS Camera Chip: 450,000 pixels 340° Rotation of the Probe Articulating Tip (180˚in each directi...

Micro Borescope Ultra Thin

German made, it is the best choice for extremely small inspection areas, with diameters as small ...

Related Companies

Uniforce Sales and Engineering

Provides solutions to machine vision and image acquisition in many applications, including in the fields of medical, ...

A-FLEX

Provides customized Printed Circuit Board fabrication in California. The entire process can be customized according t...

Velmex Inc

Manufactures linear and rotary motion-control positioning equipment for scientific, research, photonics, machining an...

TASC Technical & Assembly Services Corporation Electronic Equipment Manufacturing

Electronic Manufacturing sub-contractor. Circuit Board assembly, Cable Assembly, Wire Harness Assembly, Box Build Ass...

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc

GA-ASI is a leading manufacturer of proven, reliable Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-opt...

BellowsTech LLC

Develops, designs and manufactures metal bellows using edge welded bellows technology. Expertise in design, machining...

HC Controls Inc

Specialists in design, installation, commissioning, calibration, training and support services to aero engine test fa...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...

Medit Inc

Supplies remote visual inspection devices. The company is one of the important players in the industry, serving clien...

DDC-I Inc

Offers complete solutions for embedded software developers with a focus on mission- and safety-critical applications....
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

July 2015
Volume 26, Issue 7
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE