North Atlantic Industries
Bohemia, NY

North Atlantic Industries (NAI) recently received an initial contract from L-3 Maritime Systems for Custom-on-Standard Architecture™ (COSA™) COTS rugged systems for the Ship to Shore Connector (SSC) Data Acquisition Unit. The advanced, rugged intelligent I/O and communications subsystem delivers significant advantages for data acquisition and control solutions for the U.S. Navy’s new SSC program. The SSC is the successor to the Navy’s versatile Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicle, which is nearing its expected service life. Prime contractor for the detail design and construction of the Ship to Shore Connector, awarded under Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Contract N00024-12-C-2401, is Textron Systems.

NAI’s Sensor Interface Unit (SIU35) offers modularity and adds distributed interfaces over Ethernet for custom solutions using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products. As part of the Data Acquisition Unit (DAU) system, the SIU35 enables population of each board with function-specific modules. As part of NAI’s modular COSA architecture, a selection of up to 15 different functions can be selected from a broad assortment of low-power, high-density modules. Functions include programmable discrete analog I/O (A/D, D/A & RTD), communications (RS-232/422/485 & ARINC-429), LVDT measurement, RVDT simulation and LVDT/RVDT AC excitation.

The Space, Weight and Power-Cost (SWaP-C) optimized design increases packaging density, saves enclosure slots, and reduces power consumption, resulting in easy integration, cost savings and no NRE. In addition, the SIU35 incorporates automatic background Built-in-Test (BIT) testing that is always enabled and continually checks the health of each channel.

SSC craft will serve as the evolutionary replacement for the Navy’s existing fleet of LCACs, which are nearing the end of their service life. Their mission is to land surface assault elements in support of operational maneuvers from the sea, at over-the-horizon distances, while operating from the Navy’s amphibious ships and mobile landing platforms. Like earlier LCACs, these craft also will be used for humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

The new air cushion vehicles, offering increased reliability and availability, are designed for a 30-year service life. They will use more corrosion-resistant aluminum in the hull than current LCAC, as well as composites in the propeller shroud assembly and shafting to increase craft availability and lower life-cycle maintenance costs. These craft also will incorporate an advanced skirt, a pilot/co-pilot arrangement, a cargo deck to accommodate a 74 short ton payload (up to M1A1 Tank), and more powerful, fuel efficient Rolls-Royce engines.

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