Crystal Group Provides Rugged Systems for B-2 Bomber Comms Suite

Crystal Group has released a new case study on the U.S. Air Force B-2 Stealth Bomber Adaptive Communications Suite (ACS) in which the company provided rugged servers and displays. Incremental technology refreshes for the B-2 ACS provide the aircraft with the latest advances in commercially available electronics (Figure 1). Aircraft engineers sought updated rugged server and display options to meet critical requirements for high reliability and dependability.

Figure 1 The ACS upgrade gave the B-2 enhanced communication and control capabilities along with easier system maintenance access which helps to keep the aircraft mission-ready.

The B-2 team selected Crystal Group’s RS112 Rugged 1U Server, RS112PS18M Rugged 1U Carbon Fiber Server and RD1119 Rugged Display for the ACS upgrades based on Crystal’s proven reliability, advanced rugged technology, manufacturing expertise and customer centered responsiveness. Crystal’s rugged solutions provide an improved SWaP profile offering less weight, less power consumption, and a smaller form factor size. Following the ACS upgrade, the B-2 team realized enhanced communication and control capabilities along with easier system maintenance access which helps to keep the aircraft mission-ready.

Crystal Group
Hiawatha, IA
(319) 378-1636


BAE Systems Extends Cognitive EW Development for DARPA
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems a $13.3 million contract modification to extend its work on the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) project. The ARC program’s goal is to enable airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter new, unknown, and adaptive radars in real time (Figure 2). To ensure mission success in future anti-access/area denial environments, EW systems will need to isolate unknown hostile radar signals in dense electromagnetic environments, and then rapidly generate effective electronic countermeasures. The cognitive EW technologies developed for the ARC program employ advanced signal processing, intelligent algorithms, and machine learning techniques.

Figure 2 The ARC program’s goal is to enable airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter new, unknown, and adaptive radars in real time.

Under the contract modification, for Phase 3 of the ARC program, BAE Systems will perform work that includes the planned completion of algorithm development, advanced readiness testing, and key milestones for transitioning the ARC technologies to critical airborne warfare platforms, such as fifth-generation fighter jets. DARPA’s contract modification for Phase 3 brings the cumulative value of BAE Systems’ ARC contract to $35.5 million.

BAE Systems
Nashua, NH
603) 885-3653  

Mercury Systems to Acquire Creative Electronic Systems (CES)
Mercury Systems has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CES Creative Electronic Systems (CES). The acquisition is expected to close during Mercury’s second fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2016. For the twelve month period ended September 30, 2016 CES had revenue of approximately $23 million. The total purchase price for the transaction is approximately $38 million, subject to net working capital and net debt adjustments and will be funded with cash on hand.

According to Mark Aslett, Mercury’s President and Chief Executive Officer, the addition of CES adds important and complementary capabilities in mission computing, safety-critical avionics and platform management that are in demand from our customers. These new capabilities are expected to substantially expand Mercury’s addressable market into commercial aerospace, defense platform management, C4I and mission computing. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, CES specializes in the design, development and manufacture of safety-certifiable product and subsystems solutions including: primary flight control units, flight test computers, mission computers, command and control processors, graphics and video processing and avionics-certified Ethernet and IO.

Mercury Systems
Chelmsford, MA
(978) 967-1401


Lockheed Martin Delivers Fourth C-5M Super Galaxy to Air Force Reserve
The newest C-5M Super Galaxy was ferried from the Lockheed Martin facility on Oct. 28. This C 5M will be assigned to the 433rd Airlift Wing, the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command unit at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, TX. The aircraft, formerly assigned to Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts, was flown to Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, for interior paint restoration and to receive its new Texas state flag tail flash prior to final delivery. It will be the fourth C-5M assigned to Lackland, TX (Figure 3).

Figure 3 The newest C-5M Super Galaxy was ferried from Lockheed Martin’s facility on Oct. 28.

An Air Force Reserve Command aircrew led by Brig. Gen. James J. Fontanella, the commander of the Force Generation Center (FCG) at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, ferried the aircraft. This aircraft (U. S. Air Force serial number 87-0038) was originally delivered to the Air Force in December 1988 as a C-5B and had recorded approximately 18,950 flight hours prior to the ferry flight. Some of those flight hours came in 2006, when Fontanella, then assigned to Travis Air Force Base, California, led a crew that flew 87-0038 around the world.

Lockheed Martin
Bethesda, MD
(301) 897-6000


NI Provides SDR Technology for DARPA’s Spectrum Collaboration Challenge
National Instruments (NI) has announced a collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to supply core infrastructure for a path-breaking channel emulation testbed, called Colosseum, which will play a central role in the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge. NI will provide USRP software defined radios (SDRs) that support a wide variety of open source and proprietary tool flows including GNU Radio, RFNoC and LabVIEW system design software.

The Colosseum channel emulation testbed supports up to 256-by-256-channel, real-time channel emulation, calculating more than 65,000 channel interactions at up to 80 MHz of real-time bandwidth per channel. The testbed, based on the USRP X310 software defined radio and NI ATCA-3671 high-performance FPGA processing system, will be housed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD., and will be accessible remotely for next-generation wireless research. The testbed will provide a level playing field for the three-year competition with winning teams vying for a total of $3.75M in prize money from DARPA.

National Instruments
Austin, TX
(512) 683-0100  

OceanServer’s Iver-3 AUVs Participate in Unmanned Warrior 2016
OceanServer Technology recently participated in the first ever Unmanned Warrior (UW) in Loch Alsh, Scotland. Part of Joint Warrior, the semiannual, United Kingdom- led training exercise is designed to provide NATO and allied forces with a unique multi-warfare setting in which to prepare for global operations. Multiple Iver AUVs were put in active roles by members of the Royal Navy, US Navy and the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). The Iver-3 systems were used in a segment of Unmanned Warrior known as Hell Bay, during which groups of underwater vehicles demonstrate how they collaborate to carry out autonomous tasks like target location and recognition (Figure 1).

Figure 1 The ACS upgrade gave the B-2 enhanced communication and control capabilities along with easier system maintenance access which helps to keep the aircraft mission-ready.

Several of the Iver3 AUVs were equipped with SeeByte Neptune, an open architecture enabling autonomous multivehicle collaboration. Designed to enhance Mine Counter-Measure (MCM) missions, the system offers launch and recovery software management, water column flight management, static and dynamic exclusion zones, survey and re-acquire tasks, and real-time progress and status monitoring.

OceanServer Technology
Fall River, MA
(508) 678-0550