Navy chooses VXI backplanes from Tracewell Systems for submarine communications routing
NEWPORT, R.I., 22 Sept. 2014. U.S. Navy undersea warfare experts needed embedded computing to route signals and information among various antennas and communications systems aboard Navy submarines. They found their solution from Tracewell Systems Inc. in Westerville, Ohio.
Officials of the Naval Undersea Warfare Systems Division in Newport, R.I., announced a $144,612 contract to Tracewell earlier this month for 80 high-performance 11-slot VXI backplanes for the Radio Frequency Distribution and Control Systems (RFDACS).
The RFDACS provides a means of routing signals and information between the various antenna systems and other submarine communication subsystems.
It replaces point-to-point wiring of radio frequency (RF) and control signals, and provides modular architecture for hardware and software for simplified expansion or modification of the system. The RFDACS(V)17 variant is installed on Los Angeles- and Virginia-class fast-attack submarines.
The Tracewell backplanes are components of RFDACS, which has undergone extensive environmental qualification testing (EQT) and screening certification to the operational RFDACS Fleet equipment baseline, Tracewell Systems officials say.
Installed within a rugged mainframe, the backplane provides power distribution and signal interconnect for the precision VXI test instrumentation within the system, and provides signal and power distribution.
Optimized power and ground planes in the enclosure minimize voltage drop and ground shift, and designers have paid special attention to DC resistance and ground shift voltage, Tracewell officials say. To meet high current demands, power planes use high copper densities and increased surface area to minimize voltage drop.
The low inductance, high density planes, and bulk decoupling capacitors located near all integrated circuits help reduce ground shift voltage caused by the inductance of IC pins and other connectors, company officials say.