Product Applications

Feb. 1, 2004

Enabling technologies for military and aerospace electronics designers

Navigation equipment

Vickers looks to Smiths Aerospace for battle-tank navigation system
Combat-vehicle designers at Alvis Vickers Limited in Leeds, England, needed navigation systems for the United Kingdom's Challenger 2 main battle tank. The Land Navigation System (LNS) from Smiths Aerospace in Grand Rapids, Mich., met their needs.

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Smiths is working under terms of a production contract for 336 LNS devices for the Challenger Battlefield Integrated System Application (P-BISA) upgrade program. The Challenger 2 P-BISA Land Navigation System with precision attitude capability (NavPAC) configuration consists of an inertial reference unit (IRU), distance measurement unit (DMU), and DMU coupler.

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The Challenger 2 NavPAC order is part of a combination of Smiths LNS programs that will total more than 1,500 systems within the next five years. Smiths provides heading/pointing and land navigation systems for main battle tanks, light armored vehicles, infantry fighting vehicles, air-defense-system land vehicles, radar vehicles, anti-armor HMMWVs, reconnaissance vehicles, command-post vehicles, and unmanned ground vehicles.

For more information contact Smiths online at

Communications equipment

Celestica to provide circuit boards for Bowman radio program
Radio designers at ITT Defence Ltd. in Basingstoke, England, needed printed-circuit-board assembly and test services for the United Kingdom Bowman program to provide tactical, secure digital voice and data communications. They found their solution from Celestica in Toronto.

Bowman equipment will be fitted to approximately 20,000 military vehicles, 156 ships, and 276 aircraft, and 75,000 personnel will be trained on Bowman over a four-year period starting in 2003.

"The ITT team evaluated Celestica's Kidsgrove operation and was impressed with the company's technical skills, supply-chain capabilities, and the professionalism of their people," says Peter Bedwin, managing director of ITT Defence. "This is an important outsourcing program. It was not only vital that we work with a company that meets our needs from a U.K. base, but also one that has the reputation and stability associated with a global tier-one EMS provider."

Celestica will provide the printed circuit boards through the company's United Kingdom manufacturing facility at Kidsgrove, near Stoke-on-Trent, England.

ITT Defence engineers will integrate the assembled boards into system-level products to form the core of ITT's family of VHF Advanced Digital Radios Plus (ADR+) for manpack, vehicular, portable, and airborne operations, as well as the Mercury High Capacity Data Radio (HCDR) for networked multimedia operations.

General Dynamic U.K. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics in Falls Church, Va., won the $2.4 billion Bowman contract in September 2001. General Dynamics sought out ITT Defence to provide wireless communications systems for as many as 50,000 net radios for the program. For more information contact Celestica online at


Curtiss-Wright to provide flight computers for Marine Corps helicopters
Helicopter designers at Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas, needed computers for upgraded UH-1Y Huey and AH-1Z Cobra helicopters. The Software Configurable Air Data Computers and Linear Variable Differential Transformers from the Penny & Giles Aerospace Ltd. subsidiary of Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. in Christchurch, England, met their needs.

The Penny & Giles' Air Data Computer has software that can adapt to support 15 different aircraft types and roles, company officials say. The linear transducers will provide accurate and repeatable position sensing, and will serve as the primary flight control sensors for each aircraft.

The UH-1 helicopter is for combat assaults, transporting soldiers, and evacuating the wounded, along with other helicopter missions. More than 16,000 Hueys have been produced.

Penny & Giles also is supplying the Software Configurable Air Data Computers for as many as 1,600 aircraft on the U.S. Army's CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Black Hawk, and MH-6 Little Bird helicopters.

Penny & Giles Aerospace builds air-data computers, ground-based air-data test systems, cockpit voice and flight data recorders, quick-access recorders, and snow and ice detection Systems.

For more information contact Penny & Giles Aerospace online at

Board products

Oasis chooses SBS single-board computers for embedded training system
Systems integrators at Oasis Advanced Engineering in Auburn Hills, Mich., needed single-board computers for combat-vehicle embedded training systems. Computer and I/O boards from SBS Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M., met their needs.

SBS engineers are providing Oasis with conduction cooled processor, graphics, and audio subsystems for the Oasis Embedded Training Electronics Unit.

Embedded training provides — an affordable, realistic training with sustainable results and reduced battlefield logistics — is a requirement for combat vehicle platforms.

Oasis integrators built an embedded sustainment gunnery training system into combat vehicles that is able to meet size, weight, and performance requirements as well as tight cost constraints for the vehicular embedded training systems.

The Oasis system can embed into combat platforms such as the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank, the M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the Stryker combat vehicle. Data processing comes from three SBS CR7 6U CompactPCI single board computers with Intel Pentium III processors, and 10/100-megabit-per-second Ethernet and MIL-STD-1553 interfaces.

With space and bus slots being limited, SBS I/O cards installed in the Oasis system take advantage of the space-saving PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) format and an SBS PMC carrier card is used to pack more functionality into one slot, SBS officials say.

All SBS boards used in the system have rugged features to resist the effects of heat, shock, vibration common on combat platforms. Conformal coating protects against humidity and particle contamination like dust and salt.

SBS' conduction-cooled Sentiris PMC leverages Quantum3D's design for commercial-grade Sentiris graphics I/O cards. The Oasis 3/4 ATR rugged chassis with 6U CompactPCI backplane has seven SBS conduction-cooled boards — two CR7 single-board computers; two Sentiris PMC graphics I/O cards; one PMC Sound Blaster Audio card; and a PMC carrier card.

For more information contact SBS Technologies online at


Raytheon inspectors choose X-ray system from FeinFocus
Officials of the Raytheon Co. Reliability Analysis Laboratory (RAL), in Lexington, Mass., needed an x-ray system to help them identify faulty parts prior to shipping. They found their solution from FeinFocus USA Inc. in Stamford, Conn.

FeinFocus experts recently tailored a real-time x-ray inspection facility to perform a variety of services for Raytheon and its customers at the Raytheon RAL in Lexington, Mass.

Working with FeinFocus, RAL engineers chose a 320-watt x-ray tube and a sample manipulator. This particular tube is capable of providing as much as 225 kilovolts of x-ray energy, and is primarily for high-density applications where high penetration, magnification, and resolution are necessary, FeinFocus officials say.

Designed and installed by members of the FeinFocus engineering team, this custom system is actually a walk-in booth, where the operator can enter and place the sample, then exit and secure the door, company officials say.

An independent liquid-crystal display controls the tube in an adjoining room. The manipulator has its own computer that uses its axis encoders to record measurements at 0.01-inch resolution.

The Raytheon RAL offers electrical, physical, and mechanical analysis and evaluation of components to support hardware quality and reliability requirements. It offers inspection and evaluation services to help identify root causes for product flaws or malfunctions.

FeinFocus developed microfocus and nanofocus x-ray inspection technology. For more information contact FeinFocus online at

Simulation equipment

Lockheed Martin looks to Quantum3D for F/A-22 fighter-bomber simulator
Simulation experts at the Lockheed Martin Corp. Aeronautics Division in Fort Worth, Texas, needed image generators for flight simulators that will help train pilots of the future F/A-22 Raptor fighter-bomber. They found their solution from Quantum3D Inc. in San Jose, Calif.

Lockheed Martin experts are choosing the Independence image generator from Quantum3D. The Lockheed Martin contract calls for Quantum3D to provide several 10-channel and a single-channel Independence 2000 Series image generators along with geo-specific databases, moving models, integration services and a Data Base Generation System (DBGS) in support of the F/A-22 ACS program.

Quantum3D also is providing Lockheed Martin with image generators for air combat simulators for the future F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Quantum3D Independence 2000 Series image generators deliver Clarity Full Scene Anti-Aliasing at resolutions as fine as 2,048 by 1,536 pixels, and are designed to support the F/A-22 requirements for sustained 60-Hz performance with extreme resolution support, geo-specific databases with dense cultural detail, and many moving models, company officials say.

Independence employs Quantum3D's pnVSync technology and a system-level parallel-rendering architecture to combine as many as 16 precisely synchronized NVIDIA GPU–based subchannel renderers per channel and as many as 32 channels per image generator to scale up to 4.8 billion pixels and 15 million triangles per second

Independence includes Quantum3D's Mantis, real-time scene-management software, as well as Quantum3D's image-generator system-management software that provides for simple and intuitive operation, company officials say.

For more information contact Quantum3D online at

Communications equipment

British military chooses General Dynamics for search-and-rescue radios
The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence in London needed combat search-and-rescue radios to help downed pilots communicate with would-be rescuers. The PRC-112G radio from General Dynamics Decision Systems in Scottsdale, Ariz., met their needs.

General Dynamics is providing United Kingdom military leaders with the new radios under terms of an $8 million order. The PRC-112G helps with search-and-rescue operations for the United States, NATO, and other military forces.

General Dynamics Decision Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics in Falls Church, Va.

The PRC-112G radio offers encrypted two-way messaging, upgradeable software and hardware, embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) capability, direct line-of-sight communications between downed personnel and their rescuers, communication with commercial and national search-and-rescue satellite systems, distance-measuring equipment as a backup means of locating downed personnel, and broad communications with unmanned aircraft.

For more information contact General Dynamics Decision Systems online at

Communications equipment

Navy looks to DRS to develop tactical communications system
Leaders of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at China Lake Naval Air Station, Calif., needed tactical dissemination modules (TDMs) for surface warships and mobile ground platforms. They found their solution from the DRS Communications Co. in Wyndmoor, Pa.

DRS engineers will design and develop TDMs for ships and ground platforms that serve as tactical communication links from ships to fighter aircraft. DRS is working under terms of a $25 million contract

DRS Communications engineers will demonstrate rapid prototyping as they build hardware and software for more than a dozen TDM systems capable of shipboard and scout vehicle installation, company officials say. Product delivery will start in six months.

For more information contact DRS online at

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