Sponsored By Oxley Developments
12 Jul 18. TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, is pleased to announce it has partnered with Annapolis Micro Systems, a leading FPGA board and systems supplier, on the release of three of their new high-performance FPGA boards that feature TE’s NanoRF module. The half-size NanoRF is designed to fit into the VITA 67.3 form factor and supports 70 GHz bandwidth, with more than double the RF contact density of existing VITA 67 solutions. The three new OpenVPX boards from Annapolis Micro Systems include:
- WILDSTAR™ 3XB0 3U OpenVPX FPGA Processor
- WILDSTAR™ 3XB1 3U OpenVPX FPGA Processor
- WILDSTAR™ 6XB2 6U OpenVPX FPGA Processor
Eliminating the need for front panel coaxial cables, the NanoRF design leverages the alignment features of optical (VITA 66) modules. A floating insert on the backplane pre-aligns the RF contact array before the contacts start to engage. This rugged precision alignment is critical in blindmate plug-in architecture, which requires high reliability under extreme conditions.
“The NanoRF gives us super high density out the backplane in a really tight package,” said Noah Donaldson, Annapolis Micro Systems Chief Technology Officer. “This breakthrough connectivity allows us to utilize the full performance capability of these super-powered FPGA boards and our high-channel-count I/O cards.” The cutting-edge COTS boards integrate up to two Xilinx Virtex® UltraScale+™ FPGAs and a Xilinx Zynq® UltraScale+ MPSoC motherboard controller. Each board also has one (3U) or two (6U) WILD FMC+ (WFMC+™) next generation I/O site(s), for dense, high-bandwidth ADCs and/or DACs.
According to Mike Walmsley, TE Global Product Manager, “These leading-edge Annapolis Microsystems OpenVPX applications are a perfect illustration of the rugged RF density that can be achieved for next generation embedded systems. TE is pursuing the NanoRF modules as an industry standard VITA 67.3 solution to enable unprecedented bandwidth in a smaller package.”
TE gave Annapolis early access to the NanoRF; widespread launch will take place in August. The backplane contacts in the NanoRF modules are float mounted, assuring that the coax interface is fully bottomed in VPX backplane applications, and maintains excellent isolation and VSWR in rugged environments. Multiple position options from 8 to 18 positions are offered in half and full-size modules, and custom module configurations are possible utilizing the same NanoRF interface. The three FPGA processors supplement Annapolis’ WILD™ EcoSystem. The EcoSystem is an interoperable portfolio of rugged high-performance OpenVPX and PCIe COTS boards and systems that are used for challenging data acquisition, digital signal processing, and data storage applications. The FPGA boards are designed for advanced High Performance Computing (HPC) and Electronic Warfare (EW) applications, including DRFM, beamforming, sensor processing, wireless communication, and radar signal processing. TE, TE Connectivity and the TE connectivity logo are trademarks of the TE Connectivity Ltd. family of companies.
12 Jul 18. Esterline Avionics Systems and PMV Engineering announced that PMV Engineering has obtained EASA approval for the upgrade of the older generation GPSSU by CMC’s CMA-5024 GLSSU on the A320 family of aircraft. As an SBAS GPS receiver, the CMA-5024 is an approved DO-260B ADS-B positioning source that may be paired with any DO-260B transponder. It can be coupled with ADS-B Out STCs from PMV Engineering or others to meet the ADS-B Out requirements mandated worldwide. The PMV Engineering solution offers the unique advantage of reduced install and downtime for the A320 family of aircraft, since it involves a form, fit and function replacement of the existing GPS unit (Honeywell or Litton) without the need to perform any structural modifications to accommodate new antennas, etc. In addition to achieving compliance to the ADS-B Out mandate, the CMA-5024 also allows the entire aircraft to take advantage of SBAS navigation throughout all phases of flight. LPV approach capability may be added with additional certification effort. Similar solutions are on-going for B747-400 and B777-200 aircraft. The CMA-5024 meets the requirements for an Instrument Flight Rules, civil certified Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), a component of SBAS, augments GPS to provide an extremely accurate navigation solution that will support all flight operations from en route through Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) CAT-l equivalent approach. The CMA-5024 is compliant with and completely supports EGNOS/SBAS, from departure, en-route navigation, and all EGNOS/SBAS LPV Precision Approaches, and complies with published Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) navigational mandates.
12 Jul 18. Airbus Defence and Space has followed its earlier achievement in demonstrating Automatic Air-to-Air (A3R) refuelling of a fighter with another world-first – the same operation performed with a large receiver aircraft. In a joint operation with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which is collaborating with Airbus in development of this pioneering technology, Airbus’ A310 company development tanker performed seven automatic contacts with a RAAF KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport, also made by Airbus. The system requires no additional equipment on the receiver and is intended to reduce refuelling boom operator workload, improve safety, and optimise the rate of air-to-air refuelling (AAR) in operational conditions to maximise aerial superiority. Airbus has begun work towards introducing the system on the current production A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT). During initial approach of the receiver, boom control is performed by the tanker’s Air Refuelling Operator (ARO) as usual. Innovative passive techniques such as image processing are then used to determine the receiver’s refuelling receptacle position and when the automated system is activated, a fully automated flight control system flies and maintains the boom aligned with the receiver’s receptacle. The telescopic beam inside the boom can be controlled in a range of ways including: manually by the ARO; a relative distance-keeping mode; or full auto-mode to perform the contact. In the 20 June flight off the southern Spanish coast, the A310 tanker performed the scheduled seven contacts over a two-hour test period.
David Piatti, who again acted as Airbus Test ARO, or “boomer”, on the A310, said: “It was extremely impressive to see how accurately the A3R system tracks the receiver. It can be very useful to be able to refuel another tanker or transport, for example to extend its deployment range or to avoid taking fuel back to base, but it is also a challenging operation and this system has the potential to reduce workload and the risk involved.”
The trial was conducted in conjunction with Test Pilots and Flight Test Engineers from the RAAF’s Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU). Squadron Leader Lawry Benier, Executive Officer for ARDU, said the RAAF were assisting Airbus Defence & Space on the development of A3R and other technologies to increase the utility of the KC-30A within a battlespace.
“It’s very encouraging to come to Spain and see the progress that’s been made with A3R, and be able to witness it firsthand refuelling our KC-30A,” Squadron Leader Benier said. “Refuelling large receivers is a role RAAF has conducted extensively on operations and exercises, allowing us to extend the reach and responsiveness of our air mobility fleet, as well as keep surveillance aircraft in the air for longer.”
12 Jul 18. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has delivered software to the U.S. Army for the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter to enter Limited User Testing (LUT) ― a critical milestone leading into production. Under a contract awarded in 2014, Northrop Grumman is partnering with the U.S. Army Prototype Integration Facility and prime contractor Redstone Defense Systems to modernize the Army’s fleet of UH‑60L helicopters through cost-effective cockpit upgrades, replacing older analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays. Northrop Grumman is supplying the Integrated Avionics Suite for the upgraded aircraft, designated the UH-60V, which features one of the Army’s most advanced avionics solutions to enable the complex missions of the army aviation warfighter. Through this latest milestone, Northrop Grumman has provided a digital cockpit software build that includes all the functionality required for LUT, which will evaluate the system’s operational readiness, capabilities and compatibility with the UH-60M Pilot-Vehicle Interface. This important test informs the Milestone C Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) decision. The UH-60V is scheduled to enter LRIP in 2019.
“This software delivery milestone is an important step forward in our journey to provide cutting-edge capabilities and mission-enabling solutions to warfighters through an affordable, low-risk digital cockpit upgrade,” said Ed Griebel, director, land & avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman. “Our mission solution preserves investment in the Black Hawk fleet while modernizing the aircraft to provide warfighters with a decisive advantage.”
Northrop Grumman’s scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package enables enhanced pilot situational awareness and mission safety, as well as decreased pilot workload and life cycle cost. The UH-60V’s pilot-vehicle interface (PVI) is nearly identical to the UH‑60M PVI, providing common training and operational employment. Northrop Grumman’s open architecture approach provides greater flexibility and enables upgrades to be done with or without the original equipment manufacturer’s involvement. In addition to the UH-60V, Northrop Grumman’s scalable and fully integrated architecture is and can be applied to numerous platforms such as the E‑2D, AH-1F/S and other aircraft worldwide. The operators of these aircraft can reduce their logistics footprint by having common avionics in multiple platforms and avoid sustaining large component inventories. The UH-60V meets the standards for safety-critical software development and is designed to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency’s Global Air Traffic Management requirements, enabling the system to traverse military and civilian airspace worldwide. It is also certifiable and compliant with safety-critical avionics standards such as DO-178C.
12 Jul 18. Esterline Avionics Systems announced the new CMA-6024 Global Positioning System (GPS) precision aircraft approach sensor from CMC Electronics that supports both Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS LP/LPV) and Ground-Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS GLS). As a standard-fit ARINC 743C compliant receiver, it can be integrated into a wide range of new-build or in-service aircraft. The CMA-6024 will be certified to the current and upcoming regulatory requirements including TCCA and FAA TSO requirements, the current RTCA Minimum Operational Performance Specifications, and to Design Assurance Level A (DAL-A). The CMA-6024 includes a high performance GPS/SBAS/GBAS receiver and a complementary, state-of-the-art, Very High Frequency Data Broadcast (VDB) receiver that has been designed for easy and seamless installation in a challenging retrofit or new-build aircraft environment. As a DAL-A certified receiver, it meets or exceeds the most stringent requirements in support of CAT-III B precision approaches. Furthermore, the CMA-6024 has been certifiably tested and is built to withstand the most demanding RTCA/DO160 environmental aviation requirements. The result is exceptional reliability and a superior mean time between failures, or MTBF. The CMA-6024 delivers SBAS LP/LPV and GBAS GLS spanning all helicopter, regional, business, and air transport aircraft in a wide range of environments.
Don Paolucci, Vice President, Navigation and Integrated Systems, said, “We are very proud to introduce our new CMA-6024 GPS precision approach receiver. It is unique in the marketplace, as it allows aircraft owners, operators, and manufacturers to upgrade their aircraft with a highly reliable ADS-B compliant receiver that delivers outstanding required navigation performance, and it delivers both SBAS LP/LPV and GBAS GLS precision approach in one tough, DAL-A certified unit.”
The CMA-6024 aviation GPS/SBAS/GBAS sensor features an ARINC 739A multi-function control and display unit (MCDU) interface capability, and compatibility with some existing control panels, including our own compact CMA-5025 control panel. The CMA-6024 can host two cycles of the entire LP/LPV database and also features a built-in High Integrity Switch that allows selection between different precision approaches from ILS to LP/LPV/GLS. Thus, the CMA-6024 offers a complete, self-contained, precision approach and navigation solution. The CMA-6024 will start delivery in the last quarter of 2018.
11 Jul 18. France proves midair refueling capability with Rafale and A400M. France has completed a range of in-flight tests showing that the Rafale fighter jet could be refueled from underwing fuel pods on the A400M military transport plane, the Armed Forces Ministry said.
“After a campaign of flight tests conducted by the Direction Générale de l’Armement with the support from the Air Force, the A400M has just passed a significant milestone in demonstrating its capability to refuel the Rafale from underwing fuel pods,” the ministry said July 9 on its website. The tests allowed the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office to authorize the A400M for refueling the Rafale, while the Air Force is preparing the means to enter the new capability into service.
Meanwhile, the A330M will fly in the July 14 Bastille Day parade, marking the first time the multirole tanker transport twin jet will take part in the military showcase. Last year, U.S. Air Force F-16s flew down the Champs Elysées, with U.S. President Donald Trump admiring the parade with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. The A400M MRTT will fly in French Air Force colors, with the first official delivery due after the summer. In the flight-test campaign, the Rafales took fuel from the two underwing pods as well as from the fuselage from the hose drum unit, which is used to refuel transport and fighter aircraft, the ministry said. The next major test will be refueling of helicopters. The tests included refueling the Rafale at various altitudes and speed, as well as simulated failure of one of the fighter’s engines and flight controls, the ministry said. Tests were conducted in day and night, including using night vision goggles, with the fighter flying in different conditions. The Air Force is preparing flight procedure, technical support and training, the ministry said. “The A400M will then offer the capability of in-flight refueling in the theater,” it added. Further test campaigns are due to be held later this year, including the A400M refueling the Mirage 2000 fighter from the pods and other transport aircraft from the hose drum unit, the ministry said. (Source: Defense News)
12 Jul 18. US Air Force wants autonomous air-to-air collision avoidance system on F-35. Key Points:
- The US Air Force wants to put an autonomous air-to-air collision-avoidance system on the F-35
- The service has a similar technology on the F-16 that pulls unresponsive pilots out of tailspins
The US Air Force (USAF) wants an autonomous air-to-air collision-avoidance system on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), according to a leading officer. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Commander Major General William Cooley said on 10 July that the service wants this autonomous air-to-air collision-avoidance system on both 4th- and 5th-generation aircraft to achieve significant cost savings and save lives. The idea, he said, is that a more integrated collision-avoidance system would prevent air-to-air collisions while aircraft are flying in formation. Gen Cooley added that US allies buying the F-35 are also interested in this system. The problem with an autonomous air-to-air collision-avoidance system is building pilot trust in the capability. Gen Cooley said onboard sensors such as radar must be used for a pilot to know what is around him or her and potentially avoid other aircraft. This air-to-air capability must also use communication links to get the position of other aircraft in the flight formation or area. Gen Cooley said coding the software might be the easy part of integrating this air-to-air collision-avoidance system. Building confidence, he said, will be much more difficult.
“Integrating all that and building up the trust and confidence that we actually have sufficient fidelity of the position of all those hazards, such that you can reliably avoid collision, that is a pretty heavy lift,” Gen Cooley told reporters after a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Jul 18. CTSi Successfully Flight Tests New Prototype Navigation System to Replace GPS in Highly Contested Environments for the Navy.
Along with partner L3 Technologies, the Enhanced Link Navigation System (ELNS) offers new solution to defeat enemy countermeasures to detect and disrupt allied signals. CTSi and partner L3 Technologies completed flight-testing this month of a newly developed integrated communication and navigation system for use in highly contested and GPS-denied environments. Designated the Enhanced Link Navigation System (ELNS), the prototype was built under a Navy $8.7M Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase III contract and flight tested at the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport near Patuxent River, MD.
“Our team put ELNS in the air in less than 18 months. It worked the first time and every time during 15 flights which included 152 approaches,” said Ian Gallimore, CTSi Chief Technology Officer. He went on to say that ELNS provided area navigation to replace GPS at ranges in excess of 50 nautical miles all the way through landing. Pilots from Airtec, who provided turn-key flight test support, said during test events, “These needles are… money,” and “ELNS is as good as any instrument landing system I’ve flown, I’d fly it in the weather.”
Martin King, Navy Project Manager, added “ELNS is scalable for unmanned aircraft in all Groups, from those needing high integrity like MQ-25, to small unmanned aircraft on tight weight budgets. ELNS is the first system to bring GPS-denied navigation capability to small UAS. By combining significant investments in related fields to create a whole new capability like this, ELNS takes Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) for air vehicles in a compelling new direction.”
ELNS utilizes L3 Technologies’ waveforms that defeat adversary strategies to detect and disrupt allied signals, using waveforms that are essential in communications-denied and GPS-denied environments. “There is a strong fit between what ELNS brings and the threats that our forces are facing today,” said Tom Sanders, CTSi Chief Executive Officer. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
11 Jul 18. BMT announces advanced materials alliance. Maritime design and engineering consulting firm BMT has announced a collaboration with Adelaide incubation firm Innovyz Institute to develop the best and brightest in Australian manufacturing and advanced materials. The collaboration between BMT involves the Innovyz Institute-run Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Program, which will seek to commercialise new manufacturing products and advanced materials over a nine-month period and will be run out of Tonsley Park in Adelaide.
“BMT is delighted to be partnering with Innovyz Institute, which is a company that shares our belief in the great potential of Australian industry and know-how,” BMT managing director Peter Behrendt said.
As part of the collaboration with Innovyz Institute, BMT will contribute to sourcing advanced materials and manufacturing innovation applications as well as mentor program participants.
Tom Kenyon, Innovyz Institute general manager, said, “There is so much research going on in our universities at the moment that we are confident that there are great ideas out there that can be turned into great materials and manufacturing companies.”
The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Program is funded through both the federal government and private investment. Innovyz Institute has run similar programs in the fields of health and wellness, and waste and recycling. (Source: Defence Connect)
10 Jul 18. Within the past six months, U.S. Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve (ANG/AFRC), the Belgian Defence, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force independently awarded Denmark-based aerospace, defense and security group Terma contracts for 3D-Audio/Active Noise Reduction systems for their fleets of F-16s. Early 2018, U.S. Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve (ANG/AFRC) awarded Terma North America a $44.3m indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for a 3D-Audio system for their F-16 aircraft. Work will be performed at Terma’s facilities in Denmark and is expected to be completed by January 2024. In December 2017, the Belgian Defence and the Royal Netherlands Air Force signed similar contracts with Terma for an Aircraft Audio Management System which also includes the market leading 3D-Audio and noise reduction capabilities. These three contracts secured within a short period of time mark a true global breakthrough for Terma’s advanced audio-based communication and situational awareness solution. The 3D-Audio and Active Noise Reduction system was initially fielded in 2009 on Royal Danish Air Force F-16s and has been combat proven. The system provides enhancement of the pilot’s situational awareness, survivability, and reduction of workload by presenting audio warnings/cues and radio messages in a full 360-degree spherical representation. This capability enables the pilot to get the dynamically updated warning tone/cue in the true direction of the threat and spatially separating radio communication for increased speech intelligibility. The system also provides Active Noise Reduction (ANR) and Electrical Noise Reduction (ENR) for reduced pilot stress and fatigue.
”We foresee an interesting future development for our 3D-Audio system as we are receiving positive indications for future programs from various potential customers. We look forward to establishing a robust application area with a global product and services installed base,” says Michael Houmann Tandrup, Senior Business Development Director, Terma Aeronautics.
09 Jul 18. The Pentagon’s external technology office looks inward. The Pentagon’s commercial technology hub, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, has outposts in Silicon Valley, Boston and Austin. But it’s now stepping up its commitment to one vital region to which it has not paid as much attention in the last three years: Washington, D.C. The tech office has brought on Michael Madsen as their new head of Washington operations, a new role that puts him just under the director for the office. A retired U.S. Air Force colonel who flew C-17s and spent time both in Air Force legislative affairs and with the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, Madsen tacitly acknowledged that it will be his job to help make sure DIUx is seen as relevant inside the beltway.
“I think DIUx has been so focused on building that relationship with Silicon Valley tech companies, which has been critical, but what they’ve missed is telling the story, especially the return-on-investment story, to the Hill and inside the building,” Madsen told Defense News in his first interview since joining the office. “And that’s one of my top priorities, is to start clearly articulating the return on investment of all the activities that DIUx is doing.”
His appointment comes at a sensitive time for the office. Created by then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in 2015, DIUx reported directly to the defense secretary until February of this year, when it was rolled under the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. Raj Shah, who led the group for the last two years, recently stepped down as the office’s leader. And three years after the office was formed, some have questioned what exactly the group has accomplished. While acknowledging the “skepticism” out there about the organization, Madsen cast his new role as part of the normal pace for an organization like DIUx, a lean group that by function and form had to spend its efforts focusing away from D.C. and into the commercial hubs it wanted to penetrate.
“I think it was an absolute necessity for how streamlined it had to be,” he said. “This is a natural life cycle of an organization. It’s time to really start getting out and telling our story, and the return on investment.”
Andrew Hunter, a former Pentagon official now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, notes that DIUx has always had some Washington representation. But he says boosting that office now makes total sense.
“As they’ve become less tied to the secretary, they’ve been left more to their own devices to make their case, and that takes a little bit of resource power to do,” Hunter said. “In the past if they were being attacked, you knew the [legislative affairs team] would come to help out because it mattered to the secretary. Now it’s not so clear.”
Off the bat, Madsen has three groups with which he wants to increase communications. First, the other tech hubs in the Pentagon, including the Strategic Capabilities Office and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Second, Capitol Hill. And third, the military services ― and not just at the secretary level. During the interview, the phrase “return on investment” came up often, a view into what message DIUx believes will carry its cause. One example Madsen brought up is a DIUx success story is a project with the Air Force Combined Air Operations Center, which controls air operations in the Gulf from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. DIUx worked with a commercial vendor to deliver a smarter planning tool for tanker operations in just a few months. That software is now part of the day-to-day regional operations, saving what DIUx estimates as $200,000 a day in efficiencies ― about $137m per year that the Air Force can now use for other operations. That dollar figure will get attention, Madsen said. But other programs, such as one where an artificial intelligence algorithm ran seven years of E-3 AWACS maintenance data and found a potential 28 percent reduction in unplanned maintenance in key systems, are harder to articulate, even if they will lead to savings over time.
“Those are the stories I think fall under the radar, that I’m going to invigorate getting those out to the leaders in the building as well as on the Hill,” he said.
For Hunter, DIUx represents a vital proof of concept that the Pentagon can use to change how it does things. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.