Product Application Design Solutions

Enabling technologies for military & aerospace electronics engineers

Jun 1st, 2000
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Enabling technologies for military & aerospace electronics engineers

Communications equipment

Aegis MK82 gun uses KVH fiber optic gyros
Engineers at General Dynamics Armament Systems in Burlington, Vt., are using fiber optic gyroscopes (FOGs) from KVH Industries in Middletown, R.I., for pointing and stabilizing the Aegis MK82 gun and guided missile director that is part of a ship self-defense system.


Fiber optic gyroscopes from KVH Industries help point and stabilize the Aegis MK82 and guided missile director.
Click here to enlarge image

General Dynamics experts are using FOGs for the MK81 director group missile guidance aboard U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class (DD 51) Aegis destroyers, to replace more costly and less durable mechanical gyros.

KVH experts designed a specialized dual-axis FOG configuration to meet the specifications of General Dynamics and the military, which have conducted extensive tests and qualified the new sensors, KVH officials say.

Experts at Contract Assembly Inc. of Lawrence, Mass., are also using KVH FOG sensors to stabilize satellite communications antennas. Contract Assembly officials are using their initial FOG order of $672,000 for shipboard antennas, and say they expect future gyro orders for shore installations and submarines.

The new systems with KVH FOGs offer faster and more accurate performance than the equipment they are replacing, KVH officials claim. Contract Assembly is acting as a sub-contractor for Raytheon in Lexington, Mass., on the project.

"Our fiber optic gyros have met the stringent performance requirements of two key defense companies responsible for bringing the military up to prime combat readiness for conflicts in the new century," says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH president and chief executive officer. "Military requirements for precise, cost-effective pointing and stabilization capabilities are strong and growing every day as pressures increase to modernize all battle forces. The selection of KVH's gyros for military stabilization applications strongly validates our fiber optic technology, and our own drive to incorporate FOGs into the high- bandwidth antennas we are designing for two-way Internet and other advanced communications features."

The KVH FOG sensor not only continually detects platform pitch, roll, and yaw, but also computes how each movement changes the relative position of an identified target, such as an attacking aircraft. With this constant data feed, missile coordinates and/or target location can be as accurate as possible before, during, and after missile firing, KVH officials claim. The more precise the sensor, the more accurate the data that maintains fire direction or antenna pointing for communications.

"With a new generation of ship- and vehicular-mounted stabilization equipment that incorporates FOGs, military forces have a significant edge in identifying and counteracting hostile attacks," says Jim Dodez, KVH vice president of marketing. — J.M.

For more information KVH fiber optic gyros contact Jim Dodez by phone at 401-847-3327, by fax at 401-849-0045, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.kvh.com.

Displays

BARCO displays to fly on V-22 Osprey
Engineers at the Boeing Co. in Philadelphia are using displays from Barco Display Systems in Atlanta, Ga., as Standby Flight Displays for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

Boeing engineers will integrate a modified version of the Barco SFD 4.3 Avionics Standby Flight Display into the cockpit of the V-22 for the backup engine and fuel display. The V-22 has swiveling rotors that enable the aircraft to take off, land, and hover like a helicopter, and cruise like a fixed-wing turboprop aircraft.

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps transport troops and equipment in the multi-mission V-22 from amphibious assault ships or bases ashore. Members of the U.S. Navy use the V-22 for combat search and rescue, as well as to transport special warfare teams and fleet supplies. The U.S. Air Force uses the Osprey for long-range special missions in excess of 500 nautical miles.

The Barco SFD 4.3 is an active-matrix liquid crystal display with high luminance, contrast, and reflectivity. Boeing designers selected the Barco SFD 4.3 because of its commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) design based on an open and modular architecture that enables Barco to adapt the unit for standby flight display technical requirements of the V-22, Barco officials claim.— J.M.

For more information on the Barco SFD 4.3 contact Peggy Grimm by phone at 678-475-8105, by fax at 678-475-8100, by e-mail at peggy.grimm@barco.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.barco.com.

Test and measurement equipment

ITCN wins Navy research contract
Engineers at ITCN in Miamisburg, Ohio, are developing an instrument to monitor and analyze the behavior of RISC-based embedded systems under phase II of a U.S. Navy Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract.

"The Phase I results were encouraging and we look forward to accomplishing the research and development necessary to produce a well-defined deliverable product," says ITCN president Roy Penwell.

ITCN built a hardware-augmented system test/software test prototype that provides system and software test capabilities for a multi-processor, RISC-based system.

This technology should improve real-time software quality and reduce software debug and integration time and cost by development of an instrumentation system for commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) processors, ITCN officials claim. The processors chosen will be of the types and brands used within modern avionics systems of interest to the Navy in particular and the U.S. Department of Defense in general.

ITCN won a Phase 1 contract in January 1999 to evaluate ideas. Phase II proposals may only be submitted by Phase I awardees and only at the request of the U.S. Navy. — J.M.

For more information on ITCN's test equipment contact the company by phone at 937-439-2648, by fax at 937-439-9173, by mail at 8571 Gander Creek Drive, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342, by e-mail at itcn@erinet.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.itcninc.com.

Computers

CPU Tech wins system-on-a-chip program
U.S. Air Force officials are modernizing embedded computer systems aboard the Lockheed Martin F-16 jet fighter with system-on-a-chip technology from CPU Tech in Pleasanton, Calif.

"CPU Tech's project plan is state-of-the-practice," says Jon W. Shively, chief of the F-16 Logistics Operations Division. "Their engineering procedures, technology, and tools have been successfully employed in a number of aviation, space, and commercial programs and represent best-of-class commercial practices."

The CPU Tech solution represents a low-risk approach, com-pany officials say. "Our ability to compatibly scale high reliability systems represents the lowest risk path to the next generation of computing technology ... beyond the microprocessor," claims Ed King, chief executive officer at CPU Tech. "Validated Modernization, one application of our technology, compatibly reduces the number of components in an existing system as much as 100 to 1. The result is that size, weight, and power use are reduced while performance, reliability, and maintainability are improved."

In this new program, engineers will develop a "modernization kit" to renew a crucial radar processing system on hundreds of F-16s, CPU Tech officials say. The system contains 18 processors. By reducing components, the kit will reduce the number of circuit boards from 43 to four. The weight of the system will reduce substantially, and the mean time between failures will increase, CPU Technology officials claim.

The Commercial Operations and Support Savings Initiative, a joint program of the armed services and the Secretary of Defense, is paying for the program. The program develops and tests ways to reduce military operations and support costs. In Stage I of the two-stage process, CPU Tech experts will develop the modernization kit. In Stage II, officials of the Air Force F-16 Logistics Operations Division at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and other customers will buy the kits. The total value of the contract is about $100 million. — J.M.

For more information contact CPU Tech by phone at 925-224-9920, by fax at 925-227-0539, by mail at 4900 Hopyard Road, Suite 300, Pleasanton, Calif. 94588, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.cputech.com.

Sensors

Raytheon chooses Epner for TOW missile reflectors
Leaders of Epner Technology in Brooklyn, N.Y., recently shipped their 750,000th LaserGold coated infrared guidance beacon reflector to Raytheon Co. of Lexington, Mass.


LaserGold coated reflectors from Epner Technology are part of the TOW missile program.
Click here to enlarge image

Engineers at Raytheon — formerly Hughes Aircraft — have been using Epner IR reflectors for more than 20 years for the U.S. Army Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided missile system known as TOW.

"The use of LaserGold gave us a dramatic cost reduction over the replication technique we were using," said then Hughes' TOW program manager, Jerry Olson soon after Epner won the contract.

LaserGold coating, electrochemically deposited, provides ultra-high infrared reflectance that translates into extended missile range and accuracy, Epner officials explain. The reflectance is more than 98 percent in the infrared spectrum and the coating is durable and easily cleaned in the field, they claim.

The 25-millimeter reflector is in the TOW missile tracking system. The device's optic houses an infrared quartz-halogen lamp that illuminates in flight to show the missile's location. The gunner puts his cross hairs on the target, the TOW "sees" the rearward-facing beacon on the missile, and the TOW's computer directs the target intercept, Epner officials say.

"In all this time we've had no complaints from either the shooters or the targets," says David Epner, president of Epner Technology. "That's our track record: three-quarters of a million parts with no defects." — J.M.

For more information on LaserGold contact David Epner by phone at 718-182-5948, by mail at Epner Technology, 25 Division Place, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.epner.com.

Design and development tools

CodeWizard to automate coding standard enforcement across Boeing
Officials at Boeing in Seattle are using CodeWizard from ParaSoft in Monrovia, Calif., to automate coding standard enforcement on their major software development programs.

CodeWizard will automatically enforce Boeing's "programming rules" and coding guidelines.

Coding standards help ensure software quality and uniformity. Although these standards are not a new phenomenon, companies until recently had to rely on their developers to police themselves in following standards.

"Boeing believes in the use of coding standards and we have been using them for quite some time," says Boeing representative Lori Kilpatrick. "With CodeWizard's versatility, we are able to automatically enforce Boeing coding standards, which will save us an appreciable amount of time and money on current, future, and ongoing projects."

Boeing's move is part of an industry trend, which CodeWizard is helping to spur, says Adam Kolawa, president and chief executive officer of ParaSoft. "ParaSoft built CodeWizard with the intention of helping companies automatically enforce coding standards," he says. "We made it versatile enough that it can be adopted to any development process."

CodeWizard uses patented Source Code Analysis technology to alert developers automatically of more than 70 coding standard violations in C++ programs.

The tool's RuleWizard feature also enables developers and managers to graphically customize their own rules. Using CodeWizard to identify and prevent design and coding problems early on can help avoid wasting time and resources , ParaSoft officials claim. — J.M.

For more information on CodeWizard contact ParaSoft by phone at 888-305-0041, by fax at 626-305-3036, by mail at 2031 S. Myrtle Ave., Monrovia, Calif. 91016, by e-mail at info@parasoft.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.parasoft.com.

Software

NASA's FUSE project uses Satellite Tool Kit
Engineers at by Interface & Control Systems (ICS) in San Jose, Calif., needed a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software solution for NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) mission. The Satellite Tool Kit (STK) from Analytical Graphics in Malvern, Pa., met their needs.

"By using [COTS] products, we have been able to decrease life-cycle development costs and provide a consistent interface across all phases of the project," says Patrice Cappelaere, president of ICS, whose engineers use STK in an integrated control center architecture. ICS leaders chose STK for the company's proven and reliable orbit-propagation capabilities, Analytical Graphics officials claim.

ICS is under contract to Johns Hopkins University as a team member for the FUSE program. ICS specialists are not only integrating their flight version of SCL within the instrument data controller — as the key component of the FUSE mission's day-to-day management of instrument and spacecraft activities — but they are also developing the entire Satellite Control Center.

ICS engineers are also providing systems-engineering support for FUSE and are participating in the development and maintenance of requirements and designs for the FUSE satellite command and control software and the ground station control software, as well as the telemetry, tracking, and commanding data system software.

"[FUSE] is the wave of the future," says Dennis McCarthy, FUSE program director. "There are many professors at many universities who now understand that NASA wants these missions done outside its gates."

Analytical Graphics software supports end-to-end satellite systems from mission planning through operations. Basic applications include calculating and visualizing a satellite's position and attitude, determining acquisition times, and analyzing the satellite's field of view. The company's core product — STK — is available free of charge to all aerospace professionals.

Users can extend the core functions of STK with a wide range of add-on modules that address specialized analysis needs, from communications systems and network relationships, to visualization, proximity, and coverage issues. — J.M.

For more information, on the Satellite Tool Kit contact Analytical Graphics by phone at 800-220-4STK, by fax at 610-578-1001, by mail at Analytical Graphics, 325 Technology Dr., Malvern, Pa. 19355, by e-mail at info@stk.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.stk.com.

Displays

Israeli air force F-15 simulator uses Silicon Graphics visual system
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems officials in Akron, Ohio, are hiring experts from Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) in Mountain View, Calif., to develop and install a turnkey visual system solution for the Israeli air force F-15 flight and system trainer.

"We selected SGI because of its reputation, qualifications, and long-term commitment to this business," says Don Pashke, F-15 FST program director at Lockheed Martin. "Based on our previous experience working with SGI on similar programs in the U.S., SGI has provided a world-class visual system technology and expertise while offering a low-risk and cost-effective solution."

The Israelis will be able to train in real time at "fast jet speeds" with the new F-15 visual system powered by the Silicon Graphics geo-specific and photospecific virtual environment, company officials say.

They developed this environment using satellite-derived, photographic images of the region where pilots train. Current Israeli simulators support geo-typical databases that do not use photo-realistic imagery of an actual geographic region. The new F-15 simulator is scheduled to be ready for training in March 2001.

Under the contract, Silicon Graphics will be prime contractor for the turnkey visual system. Major partners will be SEOS Displays Ltd. and MultiGen-Paradigm in San Jose, Calif. The system will use the commercial off-the-shelf Silicon Graphics Onyx2 graphics computer with InfiniteReality3 graphics subsystem, MultiGen-Paradigm's Vega runtime software, and the SEOS PRODAS HiView display.

The Israeli Ministry of Defense awarded Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Akron a contract to deliver the Flight and System Trainer (FST) for F-15 pilot training.

Lockheed Martin's F-15 FST will include two high-fidelity cockpits — the F-15I and F-15AUP — for training pilots in all aircraft operations. It will include a photo-specific database of Israel and a tactical environment that will be programmable from the instructor-operator station. Accompanying the tactical environment is a synthetic environment that simulates weather to inject even more realism into a mission.

Using the SGI image generator, the F-15 simulator can operate at full combat speeds, often at low altitude, while producing realistic high-resolution images, SGI officials say. — J.M.

For more information on SGI contact Gregory Slabodkin by phone at 301-595-2618, by e-mail at slabodkin@sgi.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.sgi.com.

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