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Air Force Reserve Contracts SDS for F-16 Trainer Upgrade
SDS International (SDS) has been awarded a multiyear contract to provide a full range of specialized operational and technical support and Distributed Mission Operations (DMO) conversions for Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) F-16 Multi-Task Trainers (MTT) (Figure 1). Work will be performed at Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; and Mesa, Arizona. To support DMO conversions, SDS will implement Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards to ensure F-16 MTT interoperability in the DMO network.
An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron prepares to take off from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan last December.
Support will also include integration of Distributed Interactive Simulation and High Level Architecture into the modeling and simulation environment. New equipment and technologies will be integrated into existing F-16 MTT system architectures in order to meet the Combat Air Forces (CAF) DMO standards as prescribed by the CAF DMO Standards Development Working Group (SDWG). SDS will also provide test plans, test reports and other documentation required by the SDWG to complete the upgrade and testing of the F-16 MTTs, ensuring software and hardware modifications implement all capabilities of the current and future Mission Package levels of CAF DMO Standards.
TTTech Forms a Strategic Alliance with Avionics Interface Technologies
TTTech North America, a subsidiary of TTTech, has formed a long-term strategic alliance with Avionics Interface Technologies (AIT) (formerly AIM-USA) to add local support for North American customers and to enable improved engagement in the U.S. Government and Space Market. This tightly coupled partnership will make use of the experienced AIT team in product design, sales, production and support from the staff previously of AIM-USA. AIT provides a suite of test and simulation products for a wide variety of avionic bus applications, including MIL-STD-1553, ARINC 429, ARINC 615A, Fibre Channel and MIL-STD-1760e. With support from TTTech, ARINC 664/AFDX, TTEthernet (Time-Triggered Ethernet) and TTP (Time-Triggered Protocol) will be added to AIT's portfolio.
AIT will remain an independent company and will continue to enhance and supply the newly combined variety of avionics products to North American aerospace customers. TTEthernet and TTP are open industry standards (SAE AS6802 and AS6003 respectively) that offer higher bandwidth compared to CAN, MIL STD-1553 and ARINC 429, with better predictability. AIT has experience bridging older avionics bus standards with emerging technologies such as taking MIL-STD-1553 to Fibre Channel and then MIL-STD-1760e for defense programs. This same path is expected for ARINC 429 to ARINC 664/AFDX and next to Time Triggered Ethernet for commercial, defense and space programs.
Avionics Interface Technologies
TTTech Computertechnik AG
+43 1 585 34 34-899.
Saft Lithium Batteries to Power AAI's Universal Ground Control Station
Saft received an order for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries from AAI Corporation to supply back-up power for its Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS) (Figure 2), which controls UAVs. The 28V batteries are capable of integrated charging, an innovative feature that strengthens and simplifies the powering system. The high-energy, yet low-weight batteries have a capacity of 100 amp/hours and are made up of 16 VL 52E cells in a 2P8S configuration. The batteries will provide emergency back-up power for a flight-critical function of the UGCS. In the event of a power failure, the battery will activate, allowing the UGCS to carry out its UAV control mission. The batteries accept universal AC input and provide 28V DC output. While simplifying and reducing the size of the system, the ICB function eliminates the need for an additional power source to charge the battery. ICB capability is a unique technology that Saft will apply to other systems in the future.
AAI’s new Universal Ground Control Station offers a net-centric design, all-digital Tactical Common Data Link for data transmission, increased bandwidth and data security, weapons control, easy-to-read displays and up to 30 days of digitally archived data.
AAI Corp.'s UGCS architecture meets U.S. Army and joint services interoperability requirements, as well as UAS joint information exchange capabilities for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or C4ISR. The system is designed for U.S. joint services interoperability requirements, including simultaneous mission control of multiple unmanned aircraft.
Mercury Data Storage Subsystem Tapped for AN/TPY-2 Missile Defense System
Mercury Computer Systems will deliver systems architecture, development, qualification and integration services to Raytheon National and Theater Security Programs division for a rugged, high-speed data storage and recording subsystem to be deployed in the AN/TPY-2 Missile Defense Program. As an integral part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System, the Raytheon AN/TPY-2 provides advanced mobile, multifunction radar with long-range surveillance designed to search, acquire, track and discriminate ballistic missile threats from non-threats.
Per Raytheon's requirements, Mercury will provide a technology refresh specially architected to be as close to the original system configuration as possible. Mercury will also qualify and integrate both Mercury and third-party components, and provide software modifications to ensure full interoperability and backward compatibility.
Mercury Computer Systems
Mil Market Watch: Slot-Card SBC Market Enjoys Steady Growth
While, in general, hit very hard by the industry downturn from 2008 to 2009-caused by the worldwide macroeconomic recession over the same time period-the future looks positive for slot-card single board computers (SBCs). The ISA, PCI-ISA and PCI segments were hit particularly hard, since these architectures are typically consumed in verticals such as industrial automation, instrumentation and low cost network equipment, industries that were among those most affected by the recession. Over $200 million of market value was lost by these combined segments. Growth of new ATCA and AMC CPU boards was slowed as communications infrastructure investment was postponed and contracts delayed. Even VME, which would typically be somewhat shielded due to its heavy concentration in Military/Aerospace, suffered slightly. This was not directly due to the recession, but by the rearrangement of procurement priorities at the U.S. DoD. This led to the cancellation of many sizeable programs and a general uncertainty about future investment.
That uncertainty brought much of the spending on new equipment to a standstill by the end of 2009. A recent VDC report shows that 2010 is likely to show a return to growth (Figure 3). Activity has greatly increased throughout 2010, and VDC believes that the pace of market growth will continue to increase over the next 24-36 months. One of the biggest threats to the SBC market today is replacement by single-board, active backplane board architectures, such as embedded motherboards, that are able to offer higher performance with the latest multicore processors. Single-board solutions can greatly reduce size, weight and power (SWaP) in a system as well as development costs. Both SWaP reduction and cost containment are at the top of customers' lists of requirements, so if an active backplane solution can now satisfy applications previously served by slot architectures, these are likely to be transitioned to single-board solutions. As a result, SBCs will be increasingly limited to use in the high performance segments of the embedded market. Chief among these are the communications infrastructure and military/aerospace segments, which will always have strong demand for the superior performance offered by slot architectures. For more information please contact Eric Heikkila of VDC at: email@example.com.
Growth in slot-card SBC revenue has increased throughout 2010, and VDC believes that the pace of market growth will continue to increase over the next 24-36 months.
VDC Research Group
ViaSat Deploys COTM Gear on USAF MC-12 Liberty Aircraft
ViaSat has deployed airborne communications-on-the-move (COTM) terminals on board several dozen U.S. Air Force Project Liberty aircraft (Figure 4) to support ISR operations. L-3 Integrated Systems is the system integrator for the Liberty program, which includes ViaSat ArcLight COTM terminals and secure network services. The MC-12 Liberty is a small, twin-turboprop plane, based on the Beechcraft King Air 350ER.
The Air Force’s MC-12 Liberty aircraft is a medium-altitude manned special-mission turboprop aircraft designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The MC-12 aircraft supports coalition and joint ground forces.
The ArcLight Ku-band mobile broadband system is designed to provide high-speed, beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications, configured in this application for data rates up to 1 Mbit/s off the aircraft to support ISR activities. The system is based on the successful ArcLight mobile satellite communication system, which has approximately 1500 terminals delivered worldwide. The ViaSat system is also providing broadband BLOS ISR and Command and Control (C2) communication links for several other U.S. military organizations.