Engineers at BAE Systems needed a software tool to help design a better antenna for vehicles in the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System. They found a solution with design tools from The MathWorks in Natick, Mass.
Soldiers in FCS vehicles will use these antennas to get mobile and dependable communications from their Joint Tactical Radio System radios and Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), even as their Humvees travel over rough ground.
Each “On-the-Move Antenna Pointing and Stabilization System” consists of a GPS inertial unit, a two-axis pedestal that supports and drives the antenna, and control electronics that tie these components together.
To design the system, engineers at BAE Systems’ Communication, Navigation, Identification, and Reconnaissance (CNIR) division used MathWorks tools like Simulink, Stateflow, Real-Time Workshop, and xPC Target.
They modeled the system, automatically generated and ran code on real-time rapid prototyping hardware, and automatically generated code for production deployment.
“We validated the automatically generated C code from Real-Time Workshop Embedded Coder on a prototype controller integrated with the actual antenna pointing system,” explains Dr. David Haessig, a senior member of the technical staff at BAE Systems CNIR. “This enabled us to save time by thoroughly testing the code in a realistic environment and eliminating recoding and retesting efforts.”
BAE Systems CNIR validated its test results at MIT Lincoln Laboratory using a six-degree-of-freedom motion simulation table. They are now implementing the system on a test vehicle for live demonstrations and in preparation for the U.S. Army’s Development Test/Operational Test (DT/OT) in 2005. For more information, see www.mathworks.com.