Martin Petersen, director of engineering at Applied Measurement Systems International in Hollywood, Fla., is working on the "dry end" of a next-generation towed hydrophone array for the Navy, which he says is comparable to the activities depicted in the movie "Hunt for Red October."
What he needed was digital signal processing boards to interface the "wet" array, being developed at Chesapeake Sciences Corp. in Laurel, Md., with the Navy`s latest commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) standard fiber optic telemetry. He chose three Excalibur boards from Sky Computers Inc. in Chelmsford, Mass.
The towed body, TB-16UHF, operates in the same frequency band as the existing hull-mounted sonar, and must localize targets quickly and passively. The Navy`s design goals are to make maximum use of COTS and existing Navy equipment, and the system will use the new Navy OC3 Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).
Petersen says he chose the Sky PowerPC Excalibur boards for two reasons: "the high-speed interface we needed, and scaleable I/O to get the data."
This is essential, he says. "In a telemetry single point sending data, you don`t have the option of losing any of the data," he explains. The Sky front end provides speeds of 320 megabits per second, and the beamformer, analysis system, and towed array simulator are contained in one VME chassis. - J.R.
For more information, contact Sky Computers by phone at 978-250-1920, by fax at 978-250-0036, by post at 27 Industrial Ave., Chelmsford, Mass. 01824, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.sky.com.
Primagraphics is supplying video interface units for the new U.K. Nimrod MRA4 maritime patrol aircraft.