Enabling technologies for military and aerospace electronics designers

Electronic display designers at the Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector in Baltimore needed PCI hardware and software to upgrade the display console for the Air Route Surveillance Radar Model 4 (ARSR-4) that Northrop Grumman provides to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Washington.

Feb 1st, 2003
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Northrop Grumman uses Primagraphics PCI components to upgrade FAA air traffic control system

Electronic display designers at the Northrop Grumman Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector in Baltimore needed PCI hardware and software to upgrade the display console for the Air Route Surveillance Radar Model 4 (ARSR-4) that Northrop Grumman provides to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in Washington.

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PCI hardware and software from the Metro product family of Primagraphics of Litlington, England, met their needs.

Primagraphics is supplying PCI hardware and software to support the display of radar video, weather, and target information on the upgraded Northrop Grumman ASR-4 equipment. Enhancements of the standard system software help implement features in the user-interface to maintain compatibility with existing displays, Primagraphics officials say.

ARSR-4 is the 3-D long-range surveillance radar of the 44-site Joint Surveillance System that provides air defense and air traffic control for the continental United States, Guam, and Hawaii.

The new console hardware will interface to six digital videos, which are ranked and scan converted onto a PPI display, Primagraphics officials say. Target and weather messages come into the system in an Asterix format and convert into graphic symbols, which overlay the scan-converted radar.

Map data can display as an underlay to the radar video to create a multi-layer situation display. The development system is based on the Primagraphics Advantage scan converter and Virgo PCI radar interface card. Primagraphics engineers are enhancing their existing METROview application software to provide the new features of the user-interface.

The system output can drive either a flat-panel display through a digital video connection, or a CRT through a normal analogue RGB interface. A standard PC keyboard and mouse interact with the system.

For more information contact the Primagraphics U.S. office by phone at 434-951-9460, by e-mail at sales@prim agraphics.net, by post at 1000 Research Park Blvd., Suite 106, Charlottesville, Va. 22911, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.primagraphics.net.


Power electronics

Lockheed Martin chooses E-T-A mil-spec circuit breakers

Lockheed Martin officials in Bethesda, Md., needed light circuit breakers that met mil-spec 3320 for use on the F-22 and F-16 fighter jets. They found their answer with circuit breakers from E-T-A Circuit Breakers in Mt. Prospect, Ill.

E-T-A's 483 series mil-spec (MS) 3320 circuit breakers were chosen for the F-22 first, then Lockheed Martin engineers decided to use the series on the F-16, says Bill Stewart, marketing manager at E-T-A. The 483, which weighs only 24 grams, exceeded the MS 3320 specifications for shock by 50 Gs and vibration by five Gs, Stewart adds.

The device's features include advanced dual-chamber construction, which enables the 483 to handle large DC currents, E-T-A officials say. The 483 is temperature compensated from - 55 degrees to 125 degrees Celsius with optional auxiliary contacts.

The 483 series is a single-pole, miniaturized, aircraft-style thermal circuit breaker with tease-fire, trip-free, snap-action mechanism and push/pull on/off manual actuation, E-T-A officials say. An indicator band on the push button shows clearly the tripped/off position and threadneck panel mounting is available in metric and U.S. configurations, company officials say.

For more information on the Model 485 contact Bill Stewart by phone at 847-827-7600, by fax at 847-827-7655, by mail at 1551 Bishop Ct., Mt. Prospect, Ill. 60056-6039, by e-mail at bstewart@etacbe.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.etacbe.com.


Software

Boeing selects Integrity RTOS for B-1B avionics upgrade

Officials at Boeing in Seattle needed real-time operating system (RTOS) for the U.S. Air Force B-1 Bomber Conventional Mission Upgrade Program (CMUP). So they chose the Integrity RTOS from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif.

"Boeing is using Green Hills Software's Integrity real-time operating system and AdaMULTI development environment for the avionics, navigation, and weapons systems in the B-1 upgrade program," says Steven Goldman, B-1B avionics manager for Boeing.

The CMUP will add a family of 1,760 smart weapons to the B-1 arsenal, and provide the flexibility to upload multiple types of weapons for each mission and launch the appropriate weapon.

To satisfy CMUP requirements, Boeing is upgrading the B-1's avionics flight system, replacing its six existing computers with four new ones that add significantly more computing power and memory, Green Hills officials say. The computing platform for the new system uses a tandem of four computers, each containing a pair of PowerPC processor cards. Integrity provides real-time multitasking, I/O, and memory management services for the avionics flight system and hosts the application software that runs on the PowerPC processors, company officials say.

Additionally, the Air Force has contracted for the retrofit kits necessary to upgrade the B-1 fleet.

Integrity uses the hardware memory protection facilities of the processor's MMU, to build a firewall between the kernel and user tasks that prevents errant or malicious tasks from corrupting user data, the kernel, interprocess communications, device drivers, and other user tasks, Green Hills officials say. Integrity also enhances reliability and determinism by running with interrupts continuously enabled and guaranteeing access to the CPU and memory for critical tasks, company officials say.

For more information Integrity or Green Hills Software contact John Carbone by phone at 805-965-6044, by fax at 805-965-6343, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.ghs.com.

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