Extended 1553 Milestone

By Tish Drake | July 25, 2007
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Edgewater Computer Systems Inc. (ECSI) said it completed a flight test of its Extended 1553 data bus technology in a U.S. Air Force F-16. The Ottawa, Canada-based company said the primary purpose of the test was to demonstrate an increase in network capacity roughly 100 times the legacy throughput with no interference to the legacy 1553 system. The test was conducted at the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center in Tucson, Ariz., in conjunction with Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah. This shows that there is a low-cost, highly robust method to substantially increase the capacity of the existing on-board network. During the flight test, the ANG Block 30 F-16 performed typical mission flight and aircraft maneuvers including multiple-target tracking with radar and sensor systems and high-G turns. Extended 1553 operated concurrently with the legacy 1553 operation. Two flight-certified line replaceable units (LRUs) were equipped with E1553 network interface cards – a programmable display generator (CPDG) and a commercial central interface unit (CCIU), both provided by advanced storage-management systems company EFW, color multi-function displays, display processors, digital moving maps and helmet-mounted cueing systems specifically for F-16 aircraft. . The flight test revealed the ability to stream a clear video display while simultaneously capturing data-bus performance metrics, the company said. "There is a great deal of interest in this flight test program, from both industry and the Armed Services, because the technology had not previously flown in an operational aircraft," said Orlando Cortes, Air Force Lead Engineer for the E1553 Program. "Many people in the technical community were skeptical that the technology would survive in a flight environment. Two of the most important findings from the flight test program were that not only did it survive, it performed extremely well. Also, there was no anomalous behavior caused by cross-talk between the legacy and high-speed channels." Edgewater’s E1553 avionics data-bus technology allows wideband data to be carried over existing aircraft 1553 wiring and bus components without interruption or interference with other systems by maintaining the deterministic command-response nature of the legacy system.

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