Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J., announced plans Tuesday to award a contract to Astronics Ballard to upgrade five Ruggedized Avionics Computers (RACs) for Coast Guard C-27J aircraft.
The Ballard Astronics Ballard RAC is a version of the company's AB3000 line of small, lightweight embedded computers designed for integration into aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and ground vehicles. The value of the upcoming contract has yet to be negotiated.
Of the five Astronics Ballard RAC computers, two are will be installed in the Coast Guard C-27J aircraft, , one will be installed in the Mission System Integration Lab, and two will be spares.
The Coast Guard C-27J is a military transport aircraft from the Leonardo Aircraft Division (formerly Alenia Aermacchi) in Rome Italy. It is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft for maritime patrol, search and rescue, surveillance and reconnaissance, fire support, electronic warfare, and ground-attack. It resembles a small version of the Lockheed Martin C-130J.
The Astronics Ballard AB3000 rugged embedded computer comes with the Intel Atom E680T processor, MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC 429/708/717 interfaces, Ethernet, USB, video, audio, and PMC expansion. It has factory-installed PCI mezzanine card (PMC) modules that enable designers to add an Ethernet switch, synchronous and asynchronous serial interfaces, and isolated double-throw relays.
The AB3000 series offers avionics databus protocols such as MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429, ARINC 717, and ARINC 708, along with serial, discretes, Ethernet, USB Host, and other I/O. The computer measures 5.3 by 7.7 by 2.8 inches and weights five pounds.
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