McHale Report – February 2017                               
February 2017

The McHale Report, by mil-embedded.com Editorial Director John McHale, covers technology and procurement trends in the defense electronics community.


View our archive of recent and past issues of the McHale Report e-mail newsletter.



Executive Outlook

Getting the requirements right in avionics safety certification, FACE compliance, and certifying UAVs
Getting the requirements right in avionics safety certification, FACE compliance, and certifying UAVs

In this Q&A with Jim McElroy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at LDRA, he discusses how poor requirements can doom avionics certification efforts, common mistakes engineers make in this process, Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) compliance, and how certifying commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware to Design Assurance Level A for avionics safety certification. He also looks at how certifying unmanned aircraft to fly in civilian airspace may require a new mindset for everyone involved.


New 8-Channel A/D Jade FPGA Module for Defense and Radar Phased-Array Applications

The Model 71131 is an eight-channel, 250 MHz XMC module featuring 16-bit A/Ds with programmable multiband digital down converters (DDCs).The Model 71131 is suitable for connection to HF or IF ports of a communications or radar system. Its built-in data capture feature offers an ideal turnkey solution as well as a platform for developing and deploying custom FPGA-processing IP. The eight channels make it especially beneficial for multi-channel phased array platforms in defense and weather radar applications where the cost per channel can be substantially reduced.


Unmanned Aircraft and Safety Certification

Sponsored by: AdaCore, Curtiss-Wright, LDRA
March 15, 2pm ET


Top Stories

U.S. Air Force receives F-22 Raptor after maintenance at Lockheed's Speedline facility
U.S. Air Force receives F-22 Raptor after maintenance at Lockheed's Speedline facility

Engineers at Lockheed Martin completed maintenance on the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor at the company's Inlet Coating Repair (ICR) Speedline facility and delivered the aircraft back to the Air Force.


U.S. Navy, Japan, MDA complete first SM-3 Block IIA missile intercept test
U.S. Navy, Japan, MDA complete first SM-3 Block IIA missile intercept test

In a collaborative effort with the Japan Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and the U.S. Navy completed a flight test on February 3, resulting in the first intercept of a ballistic missile target using the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3). The test demonstrated the integrated capabilities of the Aegis Weapon System and how it has continually evolved to counter advanced threats.


Leidos wins $170 million DTRA contract
Leidos wins $170 million DTRA contract

Leidos has won a contract worth approximately $170 million from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to support the agency's cooperative biological engagement program (CBEP) and cooperative threat reduction (CTR) program through a global Scientific & Technical Engagement Partnership (STEP) program. The DTRA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that focuses on combating weapons of mass destruction and high-yield explosives.


Navy agrees to $133 million buy of Red Hat software and services
Navy agrees to $133 million buy of Red Hat software and services

The Department of the Navy has signed a five-year blanket purchase agreement (BPA) with DLT Solutions for the government IT contractor to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with Red Hat software and services. The $133.4 million agreement includes a one-year base ordering period with four one-year optional ordering periods, to be in force through December 2021.


Latest SpaceX launch carries ARM MCUs for space station experiments
Latest SpaceX launch carries ARM MCUs for space station experiments

The SpaceX CRS-10 cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) blasted off on Sunday, February 19 carrying several experiments to be conducted aboard the ISS, including one controlled by an ARM-based Vorago Technologies microcontroller (MCU).


SAIC delivers first amphibious vehicle prototype to USMC for testing
SAIC delivers first amphibious vehicle prototype to USMC for testing

Officials at Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) delivered the first Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 prototype to the U.S. Marine Corps during a ceremony in Charleston, South Carolina.


Blogs & Columns

VME – Live or Let Die?
VME – Live or Let Die?

The Embedded Tech Trends (ETT) conference, organized by the VITA standards organization and held last month in New Orleans – a filming location for the James Bond movie “Live and Let Die” and one of the fun parts of these Bond movies is the new gadgets given to Bond to help his fight against evil. So, New Orleans seemed an appropriate location for the some of the world’s leading providers to the embedded markets to mingle and promote their latest magical innovative technologies for tomorrow’s applications.


Generations of fighter aircraft and the F-35 vs F/A-18 arguments
Generations of fighter aircraft and the F-35 vs F/A-18 arguments

When some writer talks about 4th, 5th, or 6th generation fighter aircraft, what do they mean? Like the previous articles in this series on the generations of warfare, there are multiple definitions by multiple authors.


COTS technologies: major benefits for the consumer, new challenges for the manufacturer
COTS technologies: major benefits for the consumer, new challenges for the manufacturer

The switch to commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products can be beneficial for the consumer and manufacturer with new military environmental testing methods.


The key to preparing vehicles for A-PNT
The key to preparing vehicles for A-PNT

A-PNT, or assured position, navigation, and timing, is a relatively new buzz phrase in military navigation systems. It enhances existing selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM) GPS navigational technologies (which are already immune to spoofing) with other PNT methods that are not susceptible to signal loss, jamming or satellite destruction. A-PNT’s lofty goal is to give soldiers the ability to identify and communicate accurate location, course, and time without countermeasure interference.


Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront

Each issue in this section, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charity that benefits military veterans and their families. This issue we are highlighting Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance for U.S. military troops and wounded service members when they return home.



Navy modernization, security, COTS trending at AFCEA West
Navy modernization, security, COTS trending at AFCEA West

Every month the McHale Report will host an online roundtable with experts from the defense electronics industry – from major prime contractors to defense component suppliers. Each roundtable will explore topics important to the military embedded electronics market. This month we discuss trends in U.S. Navy commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) procurement trends, Navy computing requirements, and market outlooks with rugged computing exhibitors from the AFCEA West show in San Diego this month, which attracts a number of U.S. Navy attendees.



Markets & Business Deals

Trump to increase defense spending 10 percent></a></td>
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Trump to increase defense spending 10 percent

President Donald Trump is reportedly looking to increase defense spending about 10 percent, adding about $54 billion in funding for defense and security while taking the same amount away from non defense programs, according to a CNN report you can read here.




UAV proliferation fuels demand for satellite communication, analysts say></a></td>
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UAV proliferation fuels demand for satellite communication, analysts say

The U.S. military's rising use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has given a huge boost to the market for satellite communication (SATCOMM), say analysts at Frost & Sullivan. Since these platforms need non-traditional communication technologies such as SATCOMM to fly, navigate, and engage in combat operations, they are likely to maintain a steady demand military satellite technologies.


Space Systems Loral and DARPA partner to service satellites in GEO></a></td>
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Space Systems Loral and DARPA partner to service satellites in GEO

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) officials partnered with Space Systems Loral (SSL) for the Agency's Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program with the aim to develop technologies that would enable cooperative inspection and servicing of satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and demonstrate those technologies on orbit. Depending on the outcome, the research effort could open the door towards lowering the risks and costs of operating in GEO.


New signal processor for AMRAAM to be developed by USAF, Raytheon></a></td>
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New signal processor for AMRAAM to be developed by USAF, Raytheon

U.S. Air Force and Raytheon engineers will team up to develop a new signal processor for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) under the Form Fit Function Refresh program (F3R).


Proposal requests for engineering, tech, and innovations are being accepted by DISA></a></td>
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Proposal requests for engineering, tech, and innovations are being accepted by DISA

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the the Systems Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) contract vehicle. They are accepting the proposals now to move toward an efficient approach for the procurement of engineering support/services, with a focus on innovation throughout the engineering lifecycle.


BAE Systems/ Northrop Grumman team withdraw from T-X competition></a></td>
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BAE Systems/ Northrop Grumman team withdraw from T-X competition

Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems officials have withdrawn from the U.S. Air Force T-X competition.


DARPA spectrum challenge chooses teams to expand spectrum access></a></td>
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DARPA spectrum challenge chooses teams to expand spectrum access

DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] has selected 30 teams for Phase 1 of its Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2), a three-phase competition designed to greatly expand the amount of radio traffic that the electromagnetic spectrum can accommodate.


Clemson team partners with DTRA to develop nuclear-activity sensor></a></td>
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Clemson team partners with DTRA to develop nuclear-activity sensor

Research targeted at building a biosensor that would help the military detect signs of nuclear activities -- including indications of weapons development -- has been approved, to be conducted under the leadership of a former naval officer who is now a Clemson University faculty member.


DISA chooses RedSeal for DoD cybersecurity></a></td>
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DISA chooses RedSeal for DoD cybersecurity

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) -- a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agency tasked with operating the information infrastructure of the national leadership and the military services -- has awarded RedSeal (Sunnyvale, Calif.) a multiyear contract for its network-modeling and risk-scoring platform; the contract is valued at $33.8 million.




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