The Inside Track | March 2017


GMS Rugged Smart Displays Chosen for Navy Upgrades

General Micro Systems announced that its SD19 rugged smart display is being deployed for use in modernizing select U.S. Navy ships. This smart, all-in-one display will be distributed throughout the Navy’s fleet to replace an existing “dumb” display that had been facing end-of-life challenges. According to GMS, the award comes from a customer that wanted to combine two functions into one: a rugged, 19-inch LCD with special electrical, mechanical and environmental characteristics; and a rugged Intel-based single-board computer running Microsoft Windows. GMS met the specification requirements in all cases and units passed rigorous qualification testing.

Figure 1. Ships with AEGIS Baseline 9 (BL 9) include the USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53), the third Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

General Micro Systems has been awarded multi-year contracts to deliver tens of displays per ship, with volume of several dozen ships per year. Combined, all programs will exceed several million dollars in revenue per year. U.S. Navy programs such as the AEGIS Modernization Program (AMOD) requires computing system upgrades via the Advanced Capability Build (ACB) and Technology Insertion (TI) process for both cruisers and destroyers. COTS computer systems including the GMS SD19 are specified in the AEGIS Baseline 9 (BL 9) development effort (Figure 1). More upgrades are planned across the 84 ships in service with the AEGIS Weapons Systems installed (22 Cruisers and 62 Destroyers).

General Micro Systems
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
(909) 980-4863


DTS and Army Open Test Lab for Advancing Soldier Safety

Earlier this month nearly 100 DTS employees and several key U.S. Army personnel gathered for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new WIAMan ATD Lab located inside DTS headquarters in Seal Beach, CA. The new lab is being used exclusively to support the design, development and testing of the first blast test dummy, officially called the Warrior Injury Assessment Manikin (WIAMan). DTS is the Prime Contractor to the U.S. Army for the WIAMan project, which is the first anthropomorphic test device (ATD) designed specifically to withstand underbody blasts (like IEDs).

Figure 2. The 3,000+ sq. ft. lab includes an 11-foot drop tower used to simulate the vertical impact experienced by an occupant in a vehicle blast.

The new 3,000+ sq. ft. lab is furnished with state-of-the-art test equipment including an 11-foot drop tower used to simulate the vertical impact experienced by an occupant in a vehicle blast (Figure 2). To measure potential skeletal injuries, WIAMan currently uses 146 channels of embedded data acquisition and sensors, but is designed to support up to 180 channels. The self-contained miniature data acquisition systems are distributed throughout the test manikin and include internal power and a variety of sensors.

Seal Beach, CA
(562) 493 0158


Gowanda Acquires Microwave Circuits and Dyco Electronics

Gowanda Components Group has announced two acquisitions. In February the company acquired Microwave Circuits from AMTI in Lynchburg, VA. The deal is expected to expand its capabilities for the design and manufacture of RF and microwave filters. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but GCG has stated that Microwave Circuits’ production facilities will remain in Beltsville, MD and sales and technical support will remain in Lynchburg.

And earlier this month, Gowanda announced the acquisition of Dyco Electronics in Hornell, NY. Dyco Electronics will be featured at Gowanda’s booth #310 during APEC 2017, the applied power electronics conference being held March 27-29 in Tampa, FL. Dyco Electronics’ operations will remain in Hornell, NY. In addition to Hornell and Beltsville, GCG has two other production facilities located within the United States. The two acquisitions are the fifth and sixth for GCG within the last five years.

Gowanda Components Group
Gowanda, NY
(716) 532-2234


Lockheed Martin Upgrades its Flying Intelligence Testbed

Lockheed Martin’s manned airborne testbed, the Airborne Multi-INT Lab (AML), has been enhanced to expedite its ability to deliver decision-quality intelligence. The AML is used to experiment with combinations of sensors, systems and technologies Updates were recently made to the AML’s on-board processing capability, which collects and correlates disparate types of sensor data. The AML now has an autonomous sensor control mode that can coordinate operations between the testbed’s various onboard sensors. Also integrated into the testbed’s mission system was a cognitive processing capability that enables rapid adaptation to a changing target environment.

Figure 3. The AML, a modified Gulfstream III business jet, provides a readily reconfigurable platform to rapidly explore how multiple sensors and onboard systems interact.

The AML, a modified Gulfstream III business jet, provides a readily reconfigurable platform to rapidly explore how multiple sensors and onboard systems interact (Figure 3), and how to best apply them for use in military and non-military markets. Beyond traditional uses such as development and evaluation support, this robust intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) lab can be deployed anywhere in the world with a minimal support footprint.

Lockheed Martin
Bethesda, MD
(301) 897-6000


Technology Spotlight

Tool Provides Harsh Environment Vibration and Acceleration Simulation

Mentor Graphics has announced its new Xpedition vibration and acceleration simulation product for printed circuit board (PCB) systems reliability and failure prediction. The Xpedition product augments mechanical analysis and physical testing by introducing virtual accelerated lifecycle testing much earlier in the design process. According to Mentor Graphics, this is the industry’s first PCB-design-specific vibration and acceleration simulation solution targeting products where harsh environments can compromise product performance and reliability, including the military and aerospace markets.

Traditional, physical HALT (highly accelerated lifecycle testing) is conducted just before volume manufacturing, and requires expert technicians, which can result in costly schedule delays. Bridging mechanical and electronic design disciplines, the Xpedition product provides vibration simulation significantly faster than any existing method. This results in increased test coverage and shortened design cycles to ensure product reliability and faster time to market.

The Xpedition component modeling library is comprised of over 4,000 unique 3D solid models which are used to create highly defined parts for simulation. The 3D library allows users to easily match geometries to their 2D cell database. Designers can assemble the parts models on board and automatically mesh them for performance analysis, including stiffeners and mechanical parts. The system modeling tool is ultra-fast since it can model over 1,000 components per minute.

Figure 4. Xpedition lets users use simulation to detect components on the threshold of failure that would be missed during physical testing.

The Xpedition product can perform acceleration stress simulation for specialized applications. This feature provides safety factor simulation for constant acceleration conditions, pin-level Von-Mises stress, detailed stress and deformation plots, and three- axes user-defined force vector (X, Y, Z) simulation. These features are developed for safety-critical applications such as those targeting the mil-aero markets. Xpedition lets users simulate during the design process to determine PCB reliability and reduce field failure rates. They can detect components on the threshold of failure that would be missed during physical testing (Figure 4).

Mentor Graphics
Wilsonville, OR
(503) 685-7000