Northrop Grumman Introduces Open Architecture Solutions For Enhanced Avionics Capabilities

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:25 AM, November 5, 2013
  • 1821

Northrop Grumman is applying a modular, open architecture approach throughout its product portfolio, allowing for rapid addition of new avionics capabilities for warfighters.

Northrop Grumman will leverage the The Open Group Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) Consortium's expertise in open architecture to implement FACE requirements for both current and future programs, including the Black Hawk H-60L Digital Performance Plan program and Tech-Refresh Mission Computers for the H-1 Upgrade program. Additionally, the company plans to participate in demonstrations that will promote maturation of the FACE Reference Architecture by enabling companies to deploy their products in a functional, standardized FACE software environment.

"An open architecture approach is critical to the affordability, innovation and effectiveness of avionics systems," said Ike Song, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Situational Awareness Systems business unit. "We are using performance-proven solutions from across our corporation to offer highly flexible, affordable products that support reuse on various platforms."

Northrop Grumman is already applying the FACE Reference Architecture and interfaces to existing programs and products, including an embedded GPS/inertial navigation system for the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System and a highly adaptable mission equipment package. The company's Transport Services Segment aligns with the FACE Technical Standard requirements and provides a standard interface that allows portable avionics applications to be integrated with a variety of architectures and aviation platforms.

Northrop Grumman's Common Mission Management System (CMMS) establishes a common foundation for affordable control systems to support a variety of the company's unmanned products. Based upon open architecture standards and standard off-the-shelf commercial hardware and software infrastructures, the Northrop Grumman CMMS product line avoids the need for dedicated, custom-built command and control systems for individual platforms. Also, the Northrop Grumman CMMS product line enables pilots to operate a variety of dissimilar unmanned platforms using the same informational displays and control features, thereby improving mission effectiveness while reducing training requirements.

With its expertise in unmanned aerial systems (UAS), the Northrop Grumman team was instrumental in leading the FACE Consortium's effort to align with the UAS Control Segment (UCS) information model, establishing a common conceptual data model and metamodel as a framework that defines rules and conventions for developing interoperable software components for unmanned aerial system ground control stations. Further collaboration under the UCS/FACE Memorandum of Agreement is anticipated in aligning the FACE and UCS standards.

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