By John McHale
KANATA, Ontario — Engineers at Raytheon in Lexington, Mass., recently selected the System Technology Enhancement Program (STEP) from Dy 4 Systems, the defense and aerospace unit of Force Computers, to assist in the technology upgrade Raytheon's SeaVue family of surveillance radars. Raytheon officials look to use Dy 4's STEP program to reduce capital expenditures in SeaVue technology upgrades, while using existing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to provide improved processing speed and system performance.
"By incorporating existing technologies into our SeaVue radars, we were able to overcome difficult obsolescence issues and, at the same time, save significant amounts of time and money," says Craig Thompson, Raytheon's International Surveillance Radar senior manager. "We are planning to provide up to 15-20 fully enhanced SeaVue systems per year. And, thanks to Dy 4's STEP program, the upgraded SeaVue will be prepared to accommodate future technology upgrades."
"Raytheon was able to replicate the functionality and enhance the performance of their system using commercial cards that incorporate Dy 4's off-the-shelf technology," says Duncan Young director of marketing at Dy 4. "The SeaVue systems demonstrate how efficiently our STEP program enables users to take advantage of the most advanced commercial technologies in a timely way without compromising quality, reliability, or future upgradeability."
Dy 4's STEP program, an enhanced version of the company's comprehensive lifecycle management capabilities, leverages the current open-architecture COTS product technology to cost-effectively embrace the growth potential and technology insertion benefits that result from today's open systems approach, Dy 4 officials say. Significant system performance enhancements to Raytheon's SeaVue radars were made possible by Dy 4's dual processor board based on the company's unique CHAMP segmented -more- architecture, designed in a custom form factor to fit SeaVue's existing physical and mechanical parameters, company officials say. The high performance board incorporates two 400 MHz AltiVec G4 PowerPCs and custom interfaces.
SeaVue is a multi-platform, lightweight radar designed for maritime and overland surveillance, Dy 4 officials say. Sea surveillance is obtained under high sea conditions using fast-scan antenna technology coupled with signal processing algorithms. Inverse synthetic aperture radar capability provides radar imaging of ocean targets. Synthetic aperture radar processing provides high-resolution overland and coastal mapping, company officials say.