CRANE, Ind., 28 July 2013. U.S. Navy avionics experts needed PC/104-based ARINC 429 and MIL-STD-1553 interface electronic circuit cards for a portable system designed to load flight software on Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aircraft. They found their solution from Data Device Corp. (DDC) in Bohemia, N.Y.
Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division in Crane, Ind., announced a $4.4 million contract to DDC this past week for the company's BU-67108/9C AceXtreme PC/104-Plus and PCI-104 MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 interface protocol cards for the Navy's Next-Generation Software Loader (NGSL).
The award to DDC is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for 60 to 800 BU-67108/9C AceXtreme PC/104-Plus and PCI-104 MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 cards over a five-year period, Navy officials say.
The Navy is buying the avionics interface protocol cards sole-source from DDC because the company builds the cards specifically to Navy and Marine Corps requirements, and holds the card's designs, drawings, and software code as proprietary information, Navy officials say.
Finding alternative sources for the cards would result in unacceptable costs to validate the alternative protocol card, including environmental testing involving temperature, vibration, shock and moisture in operational and stored configurations, officials say.
The DDC BU-67108/9C AceXtreme PC/104-Plus and PCI-104 MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 interface cards are the only protocol cards available to the Navy that has been developed, test, documented, trained on, and safety-certified for use in the NGSL.
The Next-Generation Software Loader enables the loading of flight software on Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. It is designed as an integrated system using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or modified off-the-shelf (MOTS) components, Navy officials say.
The GSL is a compact, portable unit that uploads and verifies operational flight programs (OFPs) and user data files (UDFs) into reprogrammable avionics systems via single-point or direct loading at the O and I-Level. It replaced the AN/USQ-131B memory loader-verifier set.
The Navy has an urgent need for the NGSL, and delaying its fielding by trying to find alternate sources for its components like the DDC interface protocol cards would place the flight worthiness of many aircraft in the Navy fleet in jeopardy, Navy officials point out.
The NGSL replaces the AN/USQ-131Ba, described as a critical system that is no longer available or upgradeable, officials say. the AN/USQ-131Ba has reached obsolescence, and it is time-critical that it be replaced by the new NGSL design, officials say.
The DDC BU-67108/9C AceXtreme PC/104-Plus and PCI-104 MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429 interface card for the NGSL contains as many as 16 receive and eight transmit ARINC 429 channels and is optionally available with as many as two MIL-STD-1553 channels for use in systems that interface to 1553 and 429, DDC officials say.
The ARINC 429 model fits commercial aerospace applications while the multi-IO model is fits military cargo aircraft, helicopters, and other aircraft that use 1553 and 429.
Each 1553 channel can emulate a bus controller (BC), several remote terminals (RTs), a bus monitor (MT), BC/MT, or multi-RT/MT modes independently per 1553 channel.
The card includes the AceXtreme MIL-STD-1553 C software development kit (SDK) and the ARINC 429 C SDK, as well as drivers to support Linux, VxWorks, and Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 software operating systems.
The cards are designed for rugged and harsh environments, and are designed for digital flight data recorders; telemetry and instrumentation recorders; mission computers; small avionics displays; line replaceable units (LRU’s); radar systems and situational awareness; munitions; ground vehicles; and avionics labs, DDC officials say.