Aircraft Simulation Systems

Bloomy Controls, Inc. (Windsor, CT) recently announced three new simulation systems for HIL test of electronic control systems, along with the Bloomy Simulation Reference System. The Bloomy FADEC/EEC Test Platform, the Bloomy Flight Control System Test Platform and the Bloomy Environmental Control Test Platform are built on the Bloomy Simulation Reference System and use commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology to accelerate open- and closed-loop test for these applications.

A key element of the Bloomy Simulation Reference System is NI Switch, Load and Signal Conditioning (SLSC), which offers the following benefits to design and test engineers: common cable connectors that reduce custom cable assemblies and point-to-point wiring; fault insertion built into the architecture and available on every analog simulation channel; ability to breakout and probe every channel using Bloomy ThroughPoint panels; built-in self-test for rapid verification of system integrity; and use of COTS components for shorter lead times when deploying new or updated systems.

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VPX Open Frame Development Chassis

LCR Embedded Systems (Norristown, PA) has released two new VPX Development and Evaluation Chassis for 3U and 6U systems. The DK3 and DK6 feature enhanced flexibility, fast conversion between air and conduction cooled module support, as well as fast backplane replacement. Two base versions are available for development of either 3U or 6U modules.

Standard configurations may include power and ground backplanes, or application specific VPX or SOSA-aligned versions with up to 12 slots, depending on pitch requirements. Combinations of air and conduction cooled card guides and power supplies to support a range of module types and power requirements are also available. All LCR development systems can be configured with VPX, VME, cPCI or cPCI Serial backplanes.

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OpenVPX Development Chassis

Pixus Technologies (Waterloo, Ontario) has announced a new version of the VPXD1000 series that allows various VITA 67 slot configurations for RF interfaces over OpenVPX. The chassis can be partitioned for a separate segment for specialty RF devices or for SOSA (Sensor Open Systems Architecture) implementation.

The new version of the VPXD1000 comes in a 63HP (12.6'') wide size, allowing higher slot count backplanes up to ten slots at a 1.0'' pitch. Alternatively, designers can utilize one portion of the chassis for a smaller VITA 67 backplane over OpenVPX and a separate segment for RF or other devices. Pixus can optimize the airflow/cooling for each segment to best suit customer requirements.

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Rugged Computer

Equipto Electronics’ (Aurora, IL) new TEMPEST PC concept allows customers to choose an up-to-date ATX motherboard, or an HP or Dell i7 PC repackaged for the ultimate in secure operation. The system delivered will be certified to the strictest standard in the industry for devices operating in NATO Zone 0 environment, the NATO SDIP-27 Level A.

Each system is fully customizable and typically includes (but not limited to) an Intel i7 processor, ATX motherboard to your specifications, 32 GB memory, storage options, latest Windows operating system, USB 3.0 ports, a card reader for extra security, fiber port options, DB9/DB37 connectors, and high-performance power line filter. The system measures 18.50" high × 6.65" wide × 17.50" deep.

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Rugged Single Board Computer

WINSYSTEMS (Grand Prairie, TX) announced its latest enclosed single board computer for extreme operating temperatures and environments. The SYS-427 is a complete system in a rugged aluminum enclosure that measures a mere 6.5 inches by 4.5 inches and only 1.38 inches in height (165 mm × 115 mm × 35 mm). Within those chassis confines are WINSYSTEMS’ SBC35-427 single board computer, dual Gigabit Ethernet controllers, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports and dual DisplayPort outputs. Mini-Card and M.2 connectors provide additional expansion options.

The rugged new SYS-427 SBC withstands the shock and vibration demands of industrial environments while also accommodating DC power inputs ranging from 10 to 50 volts DC. Further, the Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) 2.0 device is soldered onboard to authenticate root of trust and enable security. Operating temperature range is -40C to +85C.

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Dual FMC+ Carrier with Xilinx Zynq®UltraScale+ FPGA

VadaTech (Henderson, NV) has announced the new AMC560, an AMC FPGA Carrier with dual FMC+ (VITA 57.4) interfaces, compliant to AMC.1, AMC.2, AMC.3 and AMC.4 specifications. The unit has a Xilinx UltraScale+ XCZU19EG MPSoC FPGA that provides 1,968 DSP Slices and 1,143k logic cells. The Zynq Ultra-Scale+ EG devices feature a quad-core ARM® Cortex-A53 platform running up to 1.5 GHz, combined with dual-core Cortex-R5 realtime processors and a Mali-400 MP2 graphics processing unit.

The onboard reconfigurable FPGA interfaces directly to the AMC FCLKA, TCLKA-D, FMC+ DP0-16 and all FMC+ LA/HA/HB pairs. The FPGA has an interface to a single DDR4 memory channel (64-bit wide with ECC), which allows for large buffer sizes to be stored during processing as well as for queuing the data to the host. The module has onboard 64 GB of Flash, 128 MB of boot flash and a SD Card as an option.

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Quartz RFSoC Board

Pentek, Inc. (Upper Saddle River, NJ) introduced the Quartz Model 5550, an eight-channel A/D and D/A converter, 3U OpenVPX board based on the Xilinx Zynq Ultra-Scale+ RFSoC and aligned to the SOSA Technical Standard. A key development breakthrough was the decision to implement connector technology that enables backplane only I/O. The Model 5550 incorporates the ANSI/VITA 67.3D VPX Backplane Interconnect standard for both coaxial RF and optical I/O. In addition, the Model 5550 includes a 40GigE interface and a shelf-management sub-system.

The Model 5550 uses the Model 6001 QuartzXM eXpress module containing the RFSoC FPGA and all needed support circuitry implemented on a carrier module designed specifically to align with the technical standard for the SOSA reference architecture. It comes pre-loaded with a suite of Pentek IP modules that include DMA engines, DDR4 memory controller, test signal and metadata generators, data packing and flow control. The front end accepts analog IF or RF inputs on eight coax connectors located within a VITA 67.3D backplane connector. After balun coupling to the RFSoC, the analog signals are routed to eight 4 GSPS, 12-bit A/D converters. Each converter has built-in digital downconverters with programmable 1×, 2×, 4× and 8× decimation and independent tuning.

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SWaP-Optimized Embedded Computing System

VersaLogic Corp., (Tualatin, OR) announced a new SWaP-optimized embedded computing system with ECC memory. Named “Harrier”, this new embedded computer features Intel®’s latest 5th generation Apollo Lake Atom processors with error-correcting memory. The Harrier includes a TPM 2.0 security chip, onboard power regulation, USB and Ethernet I/O ports, and Mini PCIe expansion sockets. The soldered-on ECC RAM enhances both reliability and ruggedness. The Harrier is available with up to 8 GB of Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory to address the risk of memory errors in any high-reliability applications.

Within its 55 × 95 × 27 mm package, the Harrier is designed and tested for full industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation and meets MIL-STD-202H specifications for shock and vibration. In addition, onboard power regulation ensures reliable operation with fluctuating or noisy power sources. The built-in TPM 2.0 security chip provides hardware-level security for applications that require secure logins, encrypted data storage, protected files, etc. Onboard I/O includes dual Gigabit Ethernet, one USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, and two serial ports.

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Load-Indicating Technology

Knowing the tension of critical joints is a matter of safety, peak performance, and maximum uptime. Valley Forge & Bolt (Phoenix, AZ) recently introduced its SPC4 Load-Indicating Technology that makes it possible to measure the actual tension in a fastener, not just the preload that is being applied by torque or tension tools. By using SPC4 and any one of its specially designed interchangeable readers, technicians can quickly and easily gauge tension and even have the option of remotely monitoring fastener tension within SPC4 bolted joints.

SPC4 is proprietary technology from Valley Forge that is ASTM F2482 compliant and accurately measures direct tension in the fastener within +/- 5%. It provides absolute, real-time knowledge of fastener tension and performance by measuring the stretch of the bolt (in other words, the bolt tension), directly from the fastener. Because stretch is the force that creates clamp load, this capability makes SPC4 the most accurate method available to monitor the clamp load of critical joints.

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400 Hz Power Converter

Digicom Electronics (Oakland, CA) introduced its new portable, lightweight, 400 Hz power converter. The GENO 400 Hz Digicom Power Converter Model 779 accepts 100 VAC-250 VAC, 50 Hz, 60 Hz, and 400 Hz single, two, or 3-phase inputs and converts the power to 120 VAC 60 Hz output. The converter weighs only 15.1 lbs. This design is suitable for applications in the aerospace industry, construction, military, as well as any remote activity locations where a standard power grid is not available.

The default power on almost everything on an aircraft, as well as ground support equipment at airports and maintenance facilities, is designed for 400 Hz. Diesel power generators deliver power at 400 Hz. Yet all power tools made and used in the USA, if not battery driven, are designed to run on 110-120V, 50 Hz. Digicom's GENO power converter's harmonic distortion of less than 5% and output short-circuit protection offer clean, efficient, and safe operation. The four standard outlets with easy access ON/OFF switches, the LED status indicators, two internal cooling fans, each with vents containing an air filter that can be removed for cleaning, make operation of the GENO Converter easy to use and maintain.

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Rugged 3U VPX Server Board

Concurrent Technologies announced a rugged 3U VPX board for compute-intensive applications in accordance with a proposed VITA 65.1 profile developed in alignment with the SOSA Technical Standard. TR J4x/6sd-RCx is Concurrent Technologies’ first processor board with a 40G Optical Ethernet Interface for high bandwidth and reliable connections. It has been developed as a high-performance follow on from the popular TR H4x/3sd-RCx board released in early 2019.

By default, TR J4x/6sd-RCx is fitted with a 12-core Intel® Xeon® Processor D-1559 and 64 GB of soldered down DDR4 memory for server grade application and workload consolidation in highly challenging environments. Alongside the Optical Interconnect (1 × 40GBASE-SR4 or 4 × 10GBASE-SR), TR J4x/6sd-RCx has 2 × 10GBASEKR Ethernet connections and up to ×8 lanes of Gen 3 PCI Express® for high-speed point to point connectivity with adjacent accelerator boards. A front connection with VGA and USB ports allows for easy setup with Linux or Windows Server operating systems or hypervisors from vendors like VMware®.

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Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2020 issue of Aerospace & Defense Technology Magazine.

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