Feb. 1, 2006

DDC-I is a well-established safety-critical software provider

The Product Intelligence section of the November issue of Military & Aerospace Electronics featured an article reporting that open systems, reliability, and security are primary drivers in software development environments (Product Intelligence, p. 29). The report included a list of software design and development environments and tools for military and safety-critical applications. Though your publication is usually very thorough in its research, this time, unfortunately, you left out one of the most experienced companies in this arena, DDC-I Inc. in Phoenix.

Trusted for more than 20 years by many of the world’s leaders in safety-critical embedded design, DDC-I produces industry-leading development tools (i.e. compilers, debuggers, and ancillary tools), for safety-critical application development. These tools offer mixed language support (C, Embedded C++, Ada, JOVIAL, and Fortran) for real-time embedded applications. DDC-I tools are available on leading host platforms including Windows, Solaris, and VMS, targeting Power PC, Intel X86/Pentium, MIL-STD_1750A, Motorola 68K, and Zilog 800x. The tools are either stand-alone with their own IDE or are seamlessly integrated into the Eclipse IDE Framework.

I know that your publication is well aware of our company and the hundreds of successful military and aerospace programs that have used our tools for development. However, some of your readers may not know this history and the omission of our company from the matrix you published may cause some to think that we are not involved in this market. If you could please set the record straight I would appreciate it.

For more information regarding DDC-I products, your readers can contact DDC-I at 400 North Fifth Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85004; phone (602) 275-7172; fax (602) 252-6054; e-mail [email protected]; or visit www.ddci.com.

Bob Morris, president/CEO
DDC-I, Inc.
[email protected]

Scrapping the Saturn V rocket was a tragic mistake

A column in the November 2005 issue of Military & Aerospace Electronics by John Rhea (“President Bush’s space vision: Is this trip necessary?” Report from Washington, p. 54) overlooks what I saw from Firing Room A at Cape Canaveral during the Apollo era as the most compelling reason to establish distant colonies. John Rhea also minimizes another one.

First and foremost, I did everything that one man could do to keep the unused Saturn V fleet of three stacks in operable order by having all nations on Earth contribute to an asteroid/comet shield. Some NASA folks and other astronomers actually scoffed at the idea, but they scoff no more-not because they have died off, but because they are now aware of what I knew back then.

As an astronomy major and having been a backyard astronomer since age five, I knew that it was just a matter of time before we detected an Earth-killer heading toward us, and I also knew that we would likely be defenseless against it without a rocket like the Saturn V.

Yet, we made the insane decision to lay them out for the pigeons to soil in the southeastern states and Texas. We wasted our last Saturn I-B on a mission to shake the hand of Russian cosmonauts, allowing the first and thus far largest space station to re-enter the atmosphere before depending upon the worst manned space vehicle ever designed-the STS (Shuttle Transportation System), which was designed with solid rocket boosters adjacent to LOX and LH2 tanks, and without a crew escape system. We even have an “abort, return to landing site” (abort, RTLS) procedure that we know cannot work except under the most ideal circumstances, and only a few seconds into the flight, after jettisoning the SRBs.

A new and fresh start on a larger and more upscale launch system than the one first proposed (a Saturn V, Jr.), would not only serve to protect the planet, but could ensure continuation of the species if we are blind-sided by an asteroid coming in after sling-shooting around the Sun.

We will also meet with competition from nations who were so backward in 1969 that they denied the ability to land on Earth’s moon, and the spin-offs, which are politically incorrect to mention these days, will nonetheless occur.

All we lack are visionaries making decisions. I plan for this to be my post-retirement job.

Bob Nelson
Adventek Inc.
Jacksonville, Fla.

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