Product Applications

June 1, 2004

Enabling technologies for military and aerospace electronics designers



SenSyTech chooses Green Hills for weapons trainer

Green Hills' Integrity real-time operating system drives this payload box, a simulator of hostile radar signals.
Click here to enlarge image

Electrical engineers at SenSyTech Inc. in Newington, Va., were designing a wing-attached payload that simulates hostile radar signals, used to train weapon-systems operators. They needed a secure communications path between software components, and found an answer at Green Hills Software, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Designers in the SenSyTech Active Systems Division (ASD) will use the Green Hills Integrity RTOS and Multi-integrated development environment for the project.

"We had to isolate new software functionality from that of our legacy code at the RTOS level," says Larry Lang, a SenSyTech senior software and hardware engineer. "The Integrity RTOS allowed us to develop a software architecture that gave us the desired protection for new development components and, at the same time, provided safe mechanisms for communicating with legacy components."

The Integrity RTOS, combined with a ruggedized PowerPC board and custom circuit boards, controls the real-time computer control set (CCS) built into each pod. The CCS generates the radio-frequency (RF) output signature that simulates hostile radars. During flight operation, the CCS will receive commands from an operator in the cockpit and respond with status via the aircraft MIL-STD-1553B bus. For more information, see


Lockheed Martin picks RGB Spectrum for F-16 trainer

Training-system designers at Lockheed Martin build F-16 Mission Training Centers (MTCs), which are immersive pilot-training systems for U.S. Air Force bases including Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina and Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

They needed more realistic flight images for their next-generation MTC, scheduled for installation on Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2005, so Lockheed engineers chose the SynchroMaster 550, an image combiner from RGB Spectrum in Alameda, Calif.

The Synchromaster overlayer/keyer combines the heads-up-display (HUD) instrumentation symbology with the pilot's forward-looking out-the-window (OTW) view, so instructors can see exactly what the pilot sees during training simulations.

In flight, the F-16 cockpit and its bubble canopy give the pilot unobstructed forward and upward vision, and greatly improved vision over the side and to the rear. In flight, the pilot coalesces myriad information from navigational, tactical, and combat instrumentation as well as sensors on the helmet-mounted heads-up-display combiner glass.

To oversee missions and conduct thorough after-mission reviews, the instructor must see the same data that the pilot experiences in the trainer's immersive environment.

"Fighter pilots fly the same missions in our simulators that they fly in the real world to achieve consistent, positive training that transfers to combat situations," says Carl Mickelson, video processing engineer at Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors in Akron, Ohio. For more information, see

Test and measurement

Delta Air Lines selects Teradyne test system for avionics

Engineers at the Delta TechOps division of Delta Air Lines in Atlanta needed test hardware to maintain the avionics on their Boeing aircraft.

They chose the Next Generation Automated Test System (NxGen ATS) from Teradyne in Boston. Delta TechOps is the launch customer for the NxGen ATS, which Boeing developed based on Teradyne's Spectrum 9000-Series functional test system.

Boeing has licensed Teradyne to build and sell the NxGen ATS to commercial airlines and maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities for maintenance and repair of Boeing commercial avionics.

As part of the agreement with Delta, Teradyne will supply NxGen ATS hardware, training, and support, and Boeing will deliver component maintenance manual (CMM)-sanctioned, FAA-certified test programs. Teradyne will support Delta in the integration of the NxGen ATS into its operations, leading to the retirement of the ATS-182 test system.

"As Delta implements NxGen within our operations, we are looking forward to the cost savings of having a single test platform," says Larry Hieber, manager at TechOps Avionics. "NxGen ATS will provide a much-needed replacement for older test systems such as the ATS-182. This will help reduce overall airplane maintenance costs by cutting down the number of automatic test systems we buy and support."

With Teradyne's Spectrum 9000-Series functional test system as its core, the NxGen ATS uses an open-system architecture to ensure low maintenance costs and provide an easy upgrade path for airline customers.

The flexibility built into the system allows customers to tailor the test system to their needs and to host Boeing and non-Boeing components. For more information, visit

Communications equipment

NASA picks Verizon to test mobile router

Engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center in Cleveland needed to test their prototype mobile router. They found their solution with Verizon in Arlington, Va.

The mobile router device will allow emergency workers to maintain a mobile and secure communications link in a major disaster, such as the Sept. 11 attacks. It uses hardware from Cisco Systems and technology from Verizon, Analex, and Lockheed Martin Management and Data Systems.

The new technology could replace mobile-IP, an Internet protocol that enables routers to roam between subnetworks while maintaining a fixed IP address. That method serves individual nodes, but not entire networks.

"To properly test the mobile router in a relevant environment, we developed a wired and wireless mobile test bed at NASA Glenn," says David Stewart, RF/Network engineer at Verizon Federal Network Systems (FNS). "The test network consists of a mobile platform [a truck outfitted with antennas and a generator], four mobile-IP enabled routers, two bridges, delay simulator, six wireless bridges, and multiple workstations."

NASA researchers are also testing the mobile router in a field application with the U.S. Coast Guard. They installed the technology aboard the Cleveland-based icebreaking tug CGC Neah Bay. The ship's crew performs missions throughout the Great Lakes in law enforcement, environmental protection, and search and rescue.

To deploy this test, NASA researchers partnered with Western Datacom Co., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., L3 Communications, Globalstar, Sea Tel Inc., and Stallion Technologies. For more information, see or


Army names Hypres digital components for JTRS program

Army engineers designing the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) needed analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and direct digital synthesizers (DDSs) for the project. They found both at Hypres Inc. in Elmsford, N.Y.

Planners at the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center (CERDEC) at Fort Monmouth, N.J., awarded two Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts to Hypres worth a total of $1.5 million.

Both components are for next-generation electronic systems, such as the software-defined radios being developed in the Department of Defense's JTRS program.

"Hypres' technology is exciting because it allows us to effectively and affordably address some of the substantial size, weight, and power consumption obstacles in radios designed for the JTRS Cluster I program," says John Nunziato, director of Wireless Technology & JTRS at the CERDEC Space & Terrestrial Communications Directorate. "These two new contracts with Hypres will move us closer to developing solutions for our Cluster I radio challenges."

The L-Band ADC and DDS are critical in applying all-digital RF transceivers to communications and other applications. Hypres is also developing an all digital-RFTM receiver under an SBIR Phase III program with the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

All-digital RF transceivers eliminate analog reception devices that limit system performance in existing military and commercial applications. Early conversion of analog to the digital domain results in a much more robust system and helps deal with the multitude of wireless communications standards.

Other applications for the all-digital-RFTM receiver include satellite communications, signals intelligence, electronic warfare, and radar systems. For more information, see

Test and measurement

Orbital Sciences Corp. picks Agilent satellite payload test system

Space systems manufacturers at Orbital Sciences Corp. in Dulles, Va., have to test payloads and verify microwave performance to ensure reliable, high-quality communication.

They recently needed to speed satellite assembly, integration, and test, so they picked the N1891A digital communications measurement system (DCMS) from Agilent Technologies in Palo Alto, Calif.

"Quality measurements during the integration and testing of the satellite payload is a critical step in ensuring the quality of our spacecraft for our customers," says David Detroye, senior payload engineer at Orbital.

"We fully expect that the new Agilent system will provide the accuracy and repeatability of data that we require during satellite assembly, integration and test to help reduce satellite mission risk and cost."

The Agilent N1891A DCMS is the successor to Agilent's 85121A payload test system and is used to test analog bent-pipe and digital Ku and Ka band satellite payloads. The DCMS system features advanced digital-signal processing and the latest generation of instrumentation to help streamline calibration procedures and increase throughput.

Payload parameters including gain, gain transfer, group delay, flatness and carrier-to-noise ratio are measured using special techniques adapted for the demanding requirements of the satellite industry. In addition, the DCMS test routines can be easily adapted to fit the requirements of new satellite programs.

Orbital Sciences develops and manufactures small space and rocket systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company's primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-orbit, geosynchronous and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. For more information, see

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