Sponsored By Oxley Developments
26 Feb 20. Elta to support Future Sensing programme. Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) Elta Systems has teamed up with the international accelerator MassChallenge office in Israel to offer an acceleration programme for Future Sensing companies.
The Future Sensing programme will target start-ups that develop high-frequency sensors, quantum computing, photonics, acoustics, ultrasonic and other disruptive sensory or sensory data fusion technologies.
Elta will offer participants support, including access to customers and global markets in which it is present, and the option to be integrated with its own airborne intelligence, cyber, ground and air defence, and space systems.
Yoav Turgeman, IAI VP and CEO of Elta, said: ‘Under the collaboration with MassChallenge, Elta will be part of the selection process of the start-ups that will participate in the Future Sensing programme and review the start-ups that already joined MassChallenge.
‘The identification of innovative technologies that are relevant for IAI needs will contribute considerably to our future growth engines. The accelerator programme includes mentoring, joint development and business collaborations. The participating start-ups will be chosen with Elta to develop technologies that meet pre-defined criteria to promote innovation, expand our business operations and preserve Elta’s technological superiority.’ (Source: Shephard)
11 Feb 20. DARPA wants commanding robots to work like a video game. In a fake city in Mississippi, DARPA is training robots for war. In December 2019, at a camp southeast of Hattiesburg, hundreds of robots gathered to scout an urban environment, and then convert that scouting data into useful information for humans.
Conducted at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, the exercise was the third test of DARPA’s OFFensive Swarm-Enable Tactics (OFFSET) program. OFFSET is explicitly about robots assisting humans in fighting in urban areas, with many robots working together at the behents of a small group of infantry to provide greater situational awareness than a human team could achieve on its own.
The real-time nature of the information is vital to the vision of OFFSET. It is one thing to operate from existing maps, and another entirely to operate from recently mapped space, with continuing situational awareness of possible threats and other movement through the space.
Dating back to at least 2017, OFFSET is in part an iterative process, with contractors competing for and receiving awards for various ‘sprints,’ or narrower short-turnaround developments in coding capabilities. Many of these capabilities involve translating innovations from real-time strategy video games into real life, like dragging-and-dropping groups units to give them commands.
For the exercise at Camp Shelby, the swarms involved both ground and flying robots. These machines were tasked with finding specific items of interest located in buildings at Camp Shelby’s Combined Arms Collective training Facility. To assist the robots in the field experiment, organized seeded the environment with AprilTags. These tags, which are similar to QR codes but trade complexity of data stored for simplicity and robustness in being read at difference, were used to mark the sites of interest, as well as hazards to avoid.
In practical use, hazards seldom if ever arrive with barcodes explicitly labeling themselves as hazards, but for training the AprilTags provide a useful scaffolding while the robots coordinate in other ways.
“As the swarm relayed information acquired from the tags,” wrote DAPRA, “human swarm tacticians adaptively employed various swarm tactics their teams had developed to isolate and secure the building(s) containing the identified items.”
That information is relayed in various ways, from updated live maps on computer screens to floating maps displayed in real time in augmented reality headsets. As foreshadowed by countless works of cyberpunk fiction, these “human swarm tacticians” interfaced with both the real world and a virtual representation of that world at once. Commanding robots to move in real space by manipulating objects in a virtual environment, itself generated by robots exploring and scouting the real space, blurs the distinction between artificial and real environments. That these moves were guided by gesture and haptic feedback only further underscores how deeply linked commanding robots can be to augmented reality.
The gesture and haptic feedback command systems were built through sprinter contracts by Charles River Analytics, Inc., Case Western University, and Northwestern University, with an emphasis on novel interaction for human-swarm teaming.
Another development, which would be as at home in the real-time strategy game series Starcraft as it is in a DARPA OFFSET exercise, is the operational management of swarm tactics from Carnegie Mellon University and Soar Technology. Their developments allowed the swarm to search and map a building on its own, and to automate resource allocation in the process of accomplishing tasks. For now, the heart of the swarm is as a scouting organism built to provide information to human operators. (Source: Defense News)
25 Feb 20. The new General Micro Systems (GMS) VME120 single-board computer (SBC) family is form, fit, and functionally compatible with multiple generations of currently deployed VME boards. This enables Navy platforms to be easily upgraded to include the latest-and-greatest Intel processing and graphics performance while maintaining backward compatibility with long-running legacy programs.
The Aegis combat system, DDGx and other Navy programs have relied on GMS VME SBCs for critical applications such as fire control, engine control, machinery control, and operator console displays. The Navy’s evolving software requirements and program enhancements mandate performance higher than that provided by the original VME boards, which in turn requires the market’s newest processors and features. The new VME120 versions maintain backward compatibility with legacy systems and add latest-generation Intel® Kaby Lake Core i7 processors and modern graphics features.
GMS VME SBCs are designed for technology refresh/insertion and easy pre-planned product improvement (P3I) using the same backplane, signal positions, and front panel connections. This enables naval customers to enjoy the performance benefits of Intel’s newest processors by simply unplugging the older model, plugging in the new model, and loading the software.
“We have supplied three different product families to the Navy, hundreds of boards, and three generations of Intel and Motorola processors,” said Ben Sharfi, CEO and chief architect at GMS. “In every single case, it was a smooth upgrade for the Navy, which is why they keep coming back to us. No other VME vendor in the industry can claim this tech-refresh success rate.”
GMS has been building VME boards and systems since the VME standard’s inception, over 30 years ago. The company’s VME boards and systems use a modular “engine” containing the processor that can be evolved as technology changes over time. The engine plugs onto a VME base “carrier” board with system interfaces that change very slowly, if at all. The elegance of this design approach is that the processor and memory evolve with Moore’s Law, while connections to the VME system remain constant and predictable. Early versions of the VME SBC family started with Motorola PowerPC and Intel Core Duo CPUs, while current versions, including the GMS VME120 “Royal Albatross,” are based on Intel’s four-core, 7th-generation Core i7 Kaby Lake CPU.
Backward Compatible, Leading-Edge VME Feature Set
The VME120 is available in three versions: a single-slot version that replaces fourth generation Intel “Haswell” processors, and two dual-slot versions. One of the dual-slot versions replaces an earlier fourth generation Intel processor and the other replaces an earlier Motorola PowerPC CPU. All told, the VME120 replaces either two or three earlier generations of previously deployed GMS Intel- or Motorola-based SBCs.
Unique to the VME120 is the modular design that enables it to remain backward compatible with legacy versions while also providing the newest and fastest graphics and processing. In the single-slot version, a PMC or XMC I/O board, or a SATA SSD can be mounted on the board to provide both backplane and front-panel I/O. The dual-slot versions add a PCI Express Workstation I/O (WSIO) mezzanine carrier card that supports additional I/O mezzanines: MXM (1x), PMC or XMC (3x). Collectively, the VME120-WSIO reduces an entire chassis’ worth of VME boards into a mere two slots. Thanks to the VME120’s backward compatibility, the card can support VME32, VME64, 3- and 6-row VME connectors, and a center P0 connector, depending on the variant.
The 3.0 MHz Kaby Lake Xeon E3-1505M CPU is mated to 64 GB of DDR4 DRAM with ECC for added reliability. I/O includes: 2x 10GbE to the front panel, 2x 1GbE to the backplane, 4x SATA ports, 4x serial ports, 1x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0, a super I/O Com port to the front panel, HDMI and VGA to the backplane, and 16 GPIO on P2. Used with operator consoles, it also includes line in and mic in, plus headphone audio output.
The VME120 supports the user’s choice of an XMC/PMC with front panel I/O or a SATA SSD mounted on the SBC itself. The dual-slot VME120-WSIO provides up to three additional XMC/PMC sites, or two sites with an add-on MXM. When equipped with an MXM, the SBC supports triple video outputs, with options for dual VGA and “sync on green” for legacy military consoles.
- High-resolution images VME120
- High-resolution images VME120-WSIO
- Datasheet VME120
- Datasheet VME120-WSIO
- Press release VME120 “Tech Refresh”
25 Feb 20. Australia and UK open F-35 Reprogramming Laboratory. Australia and the UK have opened the F-35 Reprogramming Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida, US. The opening of the Reprogramming Laboratory is the result of a joint partnership between Australia and the UK. It is the latest development in advancing the Australian F-35A Lightning II capability.
Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said: “The Reprogramming Laboratory produces Mission Data Files (MDFs for Australian and UK F-35s) which compiles information about the operating environment and assets in an area, before being loaded onto the aircraft pre-flight using a portable hard drive.
“Combined with the aircraft’s advanced sensor suite, this provides the pilot with a clearer battlespace picture.”
The lab will develop, verify and issue MDFs for deployed Australian and UK F-35 aircraft.
The project is supported by both countries with a 50/50 financing arrangement in place.
The Australian F-35A project is on schedule to achieve initial operating capability this December, whereas the final operating capability is expected in 2023.
Australia has plans to equip the airforce with 72 F-35A aircraft by 2023.
Reynolds added: “The F-35A is a key part of the government’s $200bn investment in defence capability.
“Today’s opening is a key milestone in the delivery of this programme to the Australian Defence Force.”
In December last year, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) took delivery of seven F-35A fighter aircraft at Base Williamtown from the US.
In September the same year, the Australian Government awarded contracts to local small businesses for the delivery of systems and services for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter programme. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
25 Feb 20. Russian Mig-29 and MiG-35 aircraft to feature automatic landing system. Russian fighter jets MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-35 are set to be equipped with the new automatic control system. Developed by engineers of MiG incorporated into UAC, the new military aircraft automatic landing system has received the patent. This innovative technology will also be integrated into new aircraft developed by MiG. The newly developed digital landing system enhances flight safety in adverse weather environments and conditions.
It is designed to allow the pilot to hold the glide path in an automatic mode and descend to the ground until visibility conditions improve.
Furthermore, the developed system includes multiple innovative units, drives, and systems. The system is also installed with navigation and measuring complexes.
The new aircraft landing system has undergone flight tests and proved effective with the pilot’s positive assessment.
MiG Corporation director-general Ilya Tarasenko said: “We are planning to integrate the new automatic landing system, developed by our engineers, into the up-to-date and perspective MiG aviation complexes.
Integration work is currently ongoing with a focus on the aviation hardware’s safety and effectiveness.
The MiG-35 multirole aircraft is the newest fighter jet. It has been designed to destroy air targets and disrupt moving and stationary ground (surface) targets.
The Russian Federation has ordered for the pre-production prototypes of MiG-35 aircraft. The MiG-29M (single-seat) and MiG-29M2 (double seat) aircraft are ‘4++’ generation multi-role fighters with the extended range. These aircraft have increased weapons load stored at nine external hardpoints with increased internal fuel capacity. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
25 Feb 20. Wind River®, a leader in delivering software for the intelligent edge, today introduced Wind River Labs, a new developer-focused site where technologists can gain access to software projects, proof-of-concepts, open source integrations, experimental software, and new technologies. The site includes the first-ever freely available VxWorks® real-time operating system (RTOS) software developer kit (SDK) for the developer community.
Wind River Labs is an environment where developers, both Wind River customers and non-customers, can collaborate to innovate at the edge, enabling capabilities such as machine learning and computer vision. This includes interacting with the software engineers who created the projects, other software engineers tackling similar challenges, and Wind River ecosystem members exploring new markets and forward-looking designs.
The available VxWorks SDK includes an open source board support package for Raspberry Pi and UP Squared hardware. Developers can now download the latest version of VxWorks, along with projects such as ROS (Robot Operating System) 2, and immediately start prototyping and designing applications on the company’s industry-leading operating systems.
Other featured Wind River Labs projects include the following:
- TensorFlow for Wind River Linux
- OpenCV for VxWorks
- Microsoft Azure IoT SDK for VxWorks
- AWS IoT Device SDK for VxWorks
- Google Cloud IoT Core SDK for VxWorks
- Google Test support for VxWorks
- OpenAMP for VxWorks Remote Compute
“With the amount of software content proliferating, and autonomous and intelligent systems significantly growing in relevance, driving collaborative innovation is more important than ever,” said Gareth Noyes, chief strategy officer at Wind River. “Wind River Labs gives developers early access to cutting edge software projects, and allows the sharing of ideas through working code, examples, and recipes for technologies and community projects.”
Wind River Labs complements the company’s comprehensive software portfolio that supports a diverse range of developer journeys, from prototype to design and development to deployment, whether teams want to start with open source and need Linux or an RTOS or both. The portfolio flexibility allows companies to deliver highly competitive products that leverage the latest community-driven innovations while meeting safety, security, and reliability requirements for mission-critical applications.
24 Feb 20. LDRA today announced the integration of the LDRA tool suite with Atlassian Jira Software (both cloud and server versions) to optimize agile development and verification of critical embedded applications. Embedded developers working in safety- and security-critical organizations must demonstrate compliance with industry functional safety and security standards, and to do this they are making the shift toward agile development methods. The new integration gives development organizations an agile solution that optimizes workflows with requirements traceability and automates software quality analysis and verification as well as documentation production.
The LDRA TBmanager Integration Package for Jira delivers bidirectional end-to-end traceability from Jira issues and test cases to requirements, design, code, and testing activities and artifacts. This integration supports and enables both Scrum and Kanban agile workflows to address the requirements of critical software safety standards such as DO-178B/C (aerospace and defense), IEC 62304 (medical devices), ISO 26262 (automotive), EN 50128 (rail transportation), IEC 60880 (nuclear energy), and IEC 61508 (industrial control) applications.
Bidirectional interface and exchange of requirements capabilities, along with test case and test execution results, enable users to see the status and verification of requirements reflected in Jira. Furthermore, developers can verify traceability through Jira’s traceability matrix report and thereby ensure all documented issues in Jira and imported requirements have been addressed.
“Developers across all critical embedded applications are challenged with efficiently addressing the increasing functional safety and security requirements mandated by their industries,” said Ian Hennell, operations director, LDRA. “Offering this integration between the LDRA tool suite and Jira optimizes agile development and provides our customers with a cost-effective lifecycle traceability, transparency, and verification solution.”
The LDRA TBmanager Integration Package for Jira is available now from version 9.8.1 (and newer) of the LDRA tool suite. Contact for more information or Download a free 30-day trial of the LDRA tool suite with the TBmanager Integration Package for Jira.
24 Feb 20. LDRA, the leader in standards compliance, automated software verification, software code analysis, and test tools, today announced support for both MISRA C:2012 Amendment 2 and the newly revised—and now mandated—MISRA compliance guidelines. As members of both the MISRA C and C++ committees, LDRA has closely monitored the revisions. LDRA will ensure precise conformance to the new language subsets and is adapting the LDRA tool suite to support the latest MISRA C:2012 amendment and the new guidelines.
“We believe these logical and sensible updates will make MISRA C:2012 easier to understand for developers, which, in turn, makes it easier for them to achieve safe and secure product development,” said Ian Hennell, operations director, LDRA. “For example, MISRA C:2012 Amendment 2 brings support for the C language right up to date, and mandating the compliance guidelines ensures the adoption of important principles that have often been overlooked.”
MISRA C:2012 is the third edition of the MISRA C guidelines. The first revision of MISRA C:2012 represented a consolidation of the original MISRA C:2012 document with the security guidelines established in Amendment 1 and the corrections outlined in Technical Corrigendum 1. Further enhancing the document, the second amendment brings large parts of C11 and C18 into the scope of MISRA C while also introducing a framework for future guidance and new versions of the C language.
With the MISRA C:2012 Amendment 2, the updated compliance guidance becomes a mandatory part of the MISRA framework, initially for MISRA C:2012, and subsequently for the upcoming MISRA C++ release. As part of the process, some compliance-related elements of MISRA C have been relocated and integrated within the MISRA Compliance document.
LDRA offers complete transparency of its support for language subsets (known as coding standards) by means of publicly accessible compliance matrices. These matrices show industry-leading levels of support for the current versions of the MISRA C and MISRA C++ documents.
“LDRA plans to maintain the same levels of transparency and support for the updated sets of guidelines that we’ve long given to the international development, adoption, and enforcement of rigorous software standards that ensure the safety and security of software-based electronics systems,” Hennell said. “Rest assured that we will be one of the first to support the new guidelines.”
24 Feb 20. LDRA and Intland Software today announced a new partnership to accelerate workflow from requirements through verification, designed for the critical software development domains of automotive, medical device, and aerospace and defense applications. In addition, the integrated LDRA tool suite and Intland’s codeBeamer ALM product facilitates and reduces the cost of compliance with critical embedded functional safety and security software standards such as DO-178B/C in avionics, ISO26262 in automotive applications and IEC 62304 in medical devices.
“Industry demands safe and secure code in these critical devices and applications, and this integration helps by enabling rigorous, traceable, and transparent development and verification methods,” said Ian Hennell, operations director, LDRA. “Intland codeBeamer is a rising ALM solution, and as a result, we believe development teams throughout the critical embedded industry will fully leverage this integration package.”
LDRA/Intland Integration: How It Works
The LDRA/Intland integration is enabled by the LDRA TBmanager Integration Package for Intland codeBeamer. Leveraging this integration and corresponding workflow, developers use Intland codeBeamer in agile development processes to collaboratively manage requirements, quality assurance activities, risks, and operations. The LDRA tool suite links those requirements and activities to the software analysis and verification process. This provides traceability and transparency into––and throughout––the development lifecycle, supporting regulatory audit processes and standards compliance.
At the software analysis level, the LDRA tool suite:
- helps to identify and eliminate software flaws and vulnerabilities.
- verifies the code (including coding compliance with standards such as MISRA and CERT) with both in-depth static and dynamic code analysis.
- expedites the verification process by automating test case generation and execution. Those tests can be run on the host development platform and the actual target hardware, helping to ensure behavioral consistency.
- analyzes structural coverage while providing complete transparency and measurement into the quality of the testing process itself, ultimately showing which code has and has not been tested.
- augments the test case for even more comprehensive testing. Software verification takes place on either the host development platform or the target hardware, and test results are fed back into codeBeamer ALM.
For developers, the LDRA tool suite/Intland integration saves time and money by accelerating iterative development while enabling requirements change and rapid impact analysis. This highlights specifically which code is affected by requirements changes and links that code to the verification activities and artifacts for automated regression testing. This is particularly important for developers who must comply with––and demonstrate compliance to––standards such as DO-178B/C, ISO 26262, and IEC 62304.
The LDRA TBmanager Integration Package for Intland codeBeamer is available now, with version 9.8.1 of the LDRA tool suite. Contact for more information or download a free 30-day trial of the LDRA tool suite with the TBmanager Integration Package for Intland.
24 Feb 20. DARPA’s Assured Autonomy shifts into higher gear. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA’s) Assured Autonomy programme is scaling up in its second phase to incorporate larger neural networks and more challenging environments for autonomous systems, the head of the programme told Jane’s . The programme aims to develop formal safety assurances for the autonomous domain, ensuring the systems operate safely and correctly. According to DARPA, while there have been huge advances in the technologies needed for autonomous systems to operate – such as modelling and sensing – there has not been similar progress in assuring their safe and correct operation. It also aims to develop mathematically verifiable approaches and tools that can be applied to machine learning (ML) algorithms, enhancing their autonomy and assuring they are achieving an acceptable level of safety. (Source: Jane’s)
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.