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May 1, 2002
Enabling technologies for military and aerospace electronics designers

Enabling technologies for military and aerospace electronics designers

Power electronicsCurtiss-Wright Flight Systems wins contract for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle programOfficials at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) in Warren, Mich., recently chose experts at Lau Defense Systems in Littleton, Mass., a Curtiss-Wright Flight Systems division, to provide electronic controls and subsystems for the A2 version of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The work is part of a five-year, requirements agreement to supply systems for power management and gun turret control functions, Curtiss-Wright officials say. Lau Defense Systems has manufactured power management, turret stabilization, and transmission control products for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle for more than 18 years, company officials say

The work will be performed at the company's Littleton, Mass., facility. Lau Defense Systems focuses on the design and manufacture of defense hardware components, security system sensors and applications of facial recognition products for the U.S. Department of Defense. The company makes fire controls, flight controls, and several line replaceable units and subsystems for many ground, air, ship, and submarine combat systems, company officials say.

For more information on Lau Defense Systems contact Phil Hamilton by phone at 978-952-2024, by fax at 978-952-2001, by mail at 30 Porter Road, Littleton, Mass. 01460, or on the World Wide Web at

SensorsU.S. Army to use DRS infrared sighting systems for combat ground systemsOfficials at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command recently chose Horizontal Technology Integration Second Generation Forward Looking Infrared (HTI SGF) sighting systems from DRS Technologies' Optronics unit in Palm Bay, Fla., for use in three different ground platforms.

The DRS systems will provide critical common night vision technology to the Army's Abrams Main Battle Tank M1A2 SEP (System Enhancement Package), Bradley Fighting Vehicle System M2A3, and Long-Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System (LRAS3), DRS officials say.

For this contract, the company will provide B-Kit sensors, spares and testing for the HTI SGF program, DRS officials say. The HTI SGF system enhances the engagement and surveillance ranges for the identification of threats, increases target acquisitions, and significantly reduces fratricide, company officials claim. The HTI SGF technology enables ground vehicles to detect, identify, and engage tactical targets during the day or night, company officials say.

"This significant award on the HTI program enhances our position as a leading U.S. defense technology supplier of advanced military ground vehicle sighting systems and fully qualifies DRS to build complete B-Kits," says Mark S. Newman, DRS Technologies' chairman, president and chief executive officer.

"The use of these systems across several ground platforms has provided the Army with the opportunity to leverage resulting economies, while exploiting the capabilities of the latest technology in night vision systems. The HTI initiative is central to the Army's modernization strategy for the digitization of the 21st century battlefield and contributes significantly to the power projection capabilities of ground forces."

HTI SGF is comprised of a common electronics unit and opto-mechanical assemblies known as the B-Kit. The B-Kit is used in the Bradley M2A3 Improved Acquisition System (IBAS) sight of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle System M2A3. The Abrams M1A2 SEP uses the same B-Kit within a thermal receiving unit and a biocular image control unit for the upgraded Thermal Imaging System (TIS), which is mounted in the gunner's sight, DRS officials say. DRS-produced HTI components also are used in LRAS3 for scout vehicles.

For more information contact DRS Optronics by phone at 321-984-9030, by fax at 321-984-8746, by post at 2330 Commerce Park Drive Northeast, Suite 2, Palm Bay, Fla. 32905, or on the World Wide Web at

SoftwareEngenium provides conceptual search tool for DOD Defense Messaging SystemOfficials at that Northrop Grumman Corp.'s California Microwave Systems business unit in Belcamp, Md., are using Semetric intelligent information retrieval technology from Engenium, Inc for a Defense Messaging System (DMS) product called the Decision Agent.

Northrop Grumman's Decision Agent supports enterprise DMS messaging for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) applications. DMS enables the collection of all DOD messaging hardware, software, and procedures into a system organized to meet all DOD messaging requirements, while employing internationally recognized, modern messaging technologies, such as cross domain auditing, Engenium officials say. Engenium's Semetric technology has been embedded into Decision Agent as the search component.

Semetric is an information retrieval technology that uses a proprietary blend of machine learning and other high-level mathematical models such as Vector Space Modeling and dynamic indexing to create an associative, almost human-like understanding of documents of any format or content, Engenium officials say.

"We chose Semetric to provide conceptual retrospective search within Decision Agent," says John Bicknas, director of New Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at California Microwave Systems. "Semetric is a key part of this enterprise wide system that will be operating 24/7 at the Pentagon and other DOD agencies analyzing information from every corner of the world. It is a mission critical system that is paramount to the warfighter."

"By using our technology, Northrop Grumman is providing a dimensionality to defense messaging that is not only a quantum leap beyond keyword, but simply not possible using other, more traditional search and retrieval technologies," claims Dave Copps, president and co-founder of Engenium.

Historically, information retrieval from structured and unstructured documents has been limited to keyword searches, Engenium officials say. Engenium's Semetric works by mapping relationships between each word and very other word in large sets of documents. This association of words based on the context in which they are used creates a form of numeric meaning and understanding for the software, company officials say.

For more information on Semetric technology contact Engenium by phone at 469-374-9464, by fax at 469-374-9469, by post at 14990 Landmark Blvd., Suite 200, Dallas, Texas 75254, or on the World Wide Web at

Design and development toolsThales chooses Innoveda's Visual Elite design tool for complex work involving FPGAsElectronics systems designers at Thales Computer in Toulon, France, needed a standard set of design and development software tools, particularly for field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). They found their solution in the Visual Elite product from Innoveda Inc. of Marlborough, Mass.

Thales Group is standardizing on Visual Elite for advanced hardware description language (HDL) and system-level design, Innoveda officials say. Thales chose Innoveda's Visual Elite solution for its superior technology, high level of functionality and ease of use.

Thales is a global electronics company serving aerospace, defense, and information technology applications.

"We chose Visual Elite to help standardize our design flow for complex FPGA design, says Yves Boccon-Gibod, manager of the Thales Research and Technology Hardware Engineering Department.

"This flow requires the most advanced software technology to handle increasing design complexity and enable design collaboration across multiple design units and sites," Boccon-Gibod says. "Innoveda has worked with us to tightly integrate Visual Elite with our group-wide ATDM design flow, achieving a solution tailored to our needs that also leverages our previous investments."

ATDM (Atelier Thales de Developpement Materiel) is an internal technical "portal" at Thales that integrates and streamlines usage of all electronic design automation (EDA) tools in the Thales design flow.

Thales first selected Innoveda solutions in 1998, to support design entry for complex FPGAs using HDL. Its Research and Technology Engineering Department is responsible for the support and development of tools and methodology throughout the group.

Visual Elite supports "system-level down to Register Transfer Level (RTL)" design methodologies and languages, providing hardware engineers and system architects with an environment to capture, verify, and analyze system-level functionality.

For more information contact Innoveda by phone at 508-480-0881, by fax at 508-480-0882, by e-mail at [email protected], by post at 293 Boston Post Road West, Marlborough, Mass. 01752, or on the World Wide Web at

ComputersU.K. Royal Navy to use DRS shipboard consoles aboard Duke-class frigatesOfficials of the United Kingdom's Royal Navy needed dual-display sonar consoles for their Sonar 2087 Project. They found their solution from the DRS Rugged Systems Ltd. unit in Farnham, England.

DRS won a $3 million contract from Thales Underwater Systems Ltd. in Templecombe, England, to install the company's OPUS 2 Multi-Function Consoles on Royal Navy Type 23 Duke-class frigates, which soon will comprise half of the Royal Navy's frigate and destroyer fleet, DRS officials say. Deliveries are to be from mid 2002 through 2004.

OPUS 2 was developed with extensive consideration for modularity, conformance to defense ergonomic standards, and versatility, DRS officials say. The functionality of this console is expected to further evolve as new technology becomes available.

The design of the OPUS 2 Multi-Function Console product line allows for fast customization for a variety of applications required for air, sea, and land systems, including sonar, communications, weapons control, and platform management. Display modules have active matrix liquid crystal displays in sizes ranging from 15 to 21 inches with display resolution as fine as 1,600 by 1,200 pixels.

Currently in the demonstration phase, Sonar 2087 is a towed active and passive antisubmarine warfare (ASW) system. Sonar 2087 replaces the obsolete Sonar 2031, and is a candidate for the ASW sensor of the Future Surface Combatant, DRS officials say.

For more information contact DRS on the World Wide Web at

Communications equipmentNaval Research Lab chooses Marconi network switch router for real-time demonstrationExperts in the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington needed a way to improve a network's capability to high-quality information quickly from several different sources. The BXR-48000 IP and multi-service core switch-router from Marconi plc in London met their needs.

NRL is demonstrating for U.S. Department of Defense officials how Marconi's BXR-48000 helps military commanders make faster, better-informed decisions. The BXR-48000 can transmit packets or cells simultaneously in their native format to enable command-level decision makers to integrate several different feeds of streaming video from field sensors with stored high-definition video and other data retrieved from supercomputers, Marconi officials say.

The demonstration also shows how the BXR-48000 transports encrypted information streams at high rates reliably and predictably over any transport infrastructure, company officials say.

"The BXR-48000, with its 480 gigabits per second of switching bandwidth, provides us an ability to dynamically switch/route multiple OC-48c and OC-192c links and provides us with new high availability features to provide the assurance that information will be delivered under even the most stressful of conditions," says Dr. Hank Dardy, Navy Chief Scientist at NRL's Center for Computational Science.

"Our rapid prototype network requires we integrate existing applications and services effectively and scale them to meet the requirements of high-performance edge devices for ingress/egress to next-generation transparent all-optical DWDM network cores," Dardy says. "One of these stressing applications is distributed, real-time remote collaborative visualization, a key tool for productive sharing of information for advanced scientific research and development or for sharing of situation awareness."

The BXR-48000 demonstration shows support for very high bit-rates needed for video conferencing/telecommuting, HDTV broadcasting, as well as applications such as enhanced battlefield visualization, presentation of data from space exploration, weather forecasts, or aircraft traffic monitoring. The switch fabric's single-stage, deterministically non-blocking architecture and cell protection features guarantee performance of end-to-end applications.

"With 480Gbps of switching capacity in just two racks, Marconi's BXR-48000 surpasses the density of other core multiservice switches targeted at IXCs, ILECs and ISPs," says Henry Goldberg, senior analyst, WAN & Service Provider Research, Cahners In-Stat/MDR. "Marconi's unique approach offers leading ATM, IP and MPLS functionalities in a small, flexible footprint, which can be used to maximize profit from a fast-changing mix of existing and emerging services. The BXR-48000 offers service providers a low-risk migration strategy to achieve the potential in next-generation, converged networks."

For more information contact Marconi plc by phone at 011-44-20-7493-8484, by fax at 011-44-20-7493-1974, by post at One Bruton St., London W1J 6AQ, England, or on the World Wide Web at

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