Computers in JSF & First Flight Naval Variant Soon

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 Jun 2010, 22:52

First flight of carrier-based version of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter scheduled for this week Posted by John Keller

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/ ... based.html

"SAN DIEGO, 3 June 2010. The Lockheed Martin Aeronautics segment in Fort Worth, Texas, expects to make the first flight of the aircraft carrier version of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter sometime this week, which would complete first flights of all three versions of the latest U.S. jet fighter bomber, Lockheed Martin officials say.

Eric George, director of F-35 avionics mission systems and software in Fort Worth, Texas, made the first-flight announcement today in a keynote address at the Avionics USA/Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum conference and trade show in San Diego.

The carrier-based (CV) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the third of three versions of the Joint Strike Fighter. First flights of the other two versions -- a U.S. Air Force long-runway version and a short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) version have been completed previously, George says.

Development of the F-35 has been a long road, yet by this summer all aircraft on the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics F-35 production line in Fort Worth will be production aircraft, with planned completion of all research, development, and demonstration aircraft, George says.

This fifth-generation jet fighter-bomber will have more than 8 million lines of software code by the time it reaches its block-3 configuration. The carrier-based design to fly for the first time this week has 5.6 million lines of code, George told conference attendees.

The flight computer in the F-35 is a Power PC microprocessor based system running application software written in C++ running on the Integrity real-time operating system from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif. The last technology refresh to upgrade F-35 avionics computer technology is set for 2012, which should be the last technology refresh for planned F-35 production aircraft, George says.

Lockheed Martin has made lifetime buys on all processors and other electronic components necessary to see the aircraft through its production cycle, George says.

Onboard computers, sensors, and avionics on the F-35 represent perhaps the most modern and sophisticated aircraft avionics architecture in the world, George says. The jet fighter-bomber's radar and electro-optical sensor systems give the aircraft not only precise targeting capability, but also give the jet a sophisticated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, he says.
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F-35 avionics: an interview with the Joint Strike Fighter's director of mission systems and software Posted by John McHale

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/ ... age=1.html

"FORT WORTH, Texas, 20 April 2010. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a fifth-generation jet fighter that has even more sensors than the F-22 Raptor. The program, led by Lockheed Martin, uses that state-of-the-art avionics with as much commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software as possible, says Eric George, director of mission systems and software for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, in the interview below.

George will discuss the F-35 avionics suite in a keynote address to the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum on 3 June 2010 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego. Register for the event online at www.avionics-usa.com/index/registration ... ation.html

Q: What is Lockheed Martin's strategy for integrating COTS electronics throughout the Joint Strike Fighter's avionics?
A: Most COTS electronics within the F-35 occur at the component level; there are no COTS subsystems. At the component level we make extensive use of military or industrial parts throughout the system. There are few custom ASICs (application specific integrated circuits) or other parts that don't decompose to parts out of the commercial industry. There are of course exceptions where the commercial market does not have applications to yield the parts we need. Our use of COTS also extends into the software arena where we use COTS operating systems and software development tools.

Q: What is the breakdown between custom electronics vs. COTS electronics in the F-35 avionics systems?
A: I don't know of any breakdown that could be readily generated.

Q: How are you managing obsolescence and life cycle costs in the F-35?
A: We have a process whereby we track our parts for possible obsolescence issues and then evaluate the options that include form, fit, and function (FFF) replacements, redesign and end of life (EOL) buys. Our system development and demonstration (SDD) program provided for two updates to many of our processors during the SDD phase. This assured that we exited SDD with processing systems that were not already facing diminished manufacturing sources (DMS) issues. It also allowed us to demonstrate our ability change this processing without major changes to the software.

Q: Can you describe the unique middleware you designed for use in the avionics systems and how it enables COTS integration?
A: We utilized COTS operating systems, higher-order languages, model-based designs, and proven design patterns that made us less susceptible to changes in the underlying processing or network architecture. Many of the design patterns are codified in standard libraries we utilize across the avionics.

Q: What are some examples of COTS products used in the F-35 cockpit -- displays, processors, real-time operating systems, databuses, etc.?
A: Power architecture processors, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), DDR RAM, DDR2 RAM, flash memory, active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs), PCI, PCIe, PCI-X, RapidIO, openGL, Green Hills Integrity-178 real-time operating system (RTOS), IEEE-1394, Fibre Channel, etc.

Q: Are there different avionics requirements for the different F-35 variants?
A: F-35 avionics are essentially 100-percent common across all three F-35 variants.

Q: What performance advantages does the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have over current fighters including the F-22 Raptor?
A: The F-35 is the only stealth multi-role fighter in the world. F-35's very low observable stealth properties enable deep penetration of the most sophisticated air defenses, including those expected to emerge in the 2020 time frame. With a full internal weapons payload (5500+ pounds), the F-35 can fly at Mach 1.6, launch air-to-air weapons at maximum speed, and even launch 2000-pound JDAMS supersonically. The F-35 possesses the most comprehensive and powerful avionics suite of any fighter that has ever flown, providing unprecedented situational awareness, command-and-control and network-centric warfare capability. The F-35 and F-22 are not competing designs. Each does some things better than the other, by design. The F-35 builds on much of the stealth, aerodynamic, and sensor technology pioneered on the F-22, but the F-35 is a decade newer, and carries more sensors and nearly four times more software code than the F-22

Q: When is the first F-35 expected to be deployed to U.S. forces?
A: F-35 deliveries will begin in the 4th quarter of this year, with the U.S. Air Force taking initial deliveries of training aircraft for Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The U.S. Marines are the first service to go operational with F-35s, in 2012."
Last edited by spazsinbad on 04 Jun 2010, 02:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post04 Jun 2010, 01:20

the F-35 can fly at Mach 1.6, launch air-to-air weapons at maximum speed, and even launch 2000-pound JDAMS supersonically.

It is now certain that the F-35 is planned to deploy weapons at supersonic speeds from the large weapons bay.
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Unread post04 Jun 2010, 01:58

It was certain a long time ago, some people just would not believe it. ;)
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Unread post04 Jun 2010, 14:33

SpudmanWP wrote:It was certain a long time ago, some people just would not believe it. ;)


Yep, they were hung up over semantics, and what the definition of the word is was. 8)
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Unread post04 Jun 2010, 20:45

Wire Issues Stall 1st Flight of F-35 Carrier Model By JOHN REED Published: 4 Jun 2010

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i= ... =AIR&s=TOP

"Wiring problems have delayed the first flight of the carrier version of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter by "several days," said a spokesman for Lockheed Martin, the aircraft's prime contractor.

The plane, an F-35C known as CF-1, was slated to take its first flight from Lockheed Martin's facility at Fort Worth, Texas, on June 2.

Company spokesman Chris Geisel described the problems, discovered during preparation for the first flight, as minor.

"The fix is straightforward and is not related to the aircraft's design," Geisel said. Lockheed expects to move forward with the jet's first flight in "the next several days," he added.

As of June 1, the company said it was three test flights ahead of schedule for 2010, having completed 93 total flights with its conventional takeoff-and-landing F-35A and its short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing F-35B."
Last edited by spazsinbad on 04 Jun 2010, 22:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post04 Jun 2010, 21:41

This really is a non-issue. Even brand new aircraft right off the line (that has been producing them for years) have wiring issues.

Can anyone tell me if naval aircraft still follow NAVAIR 01–1A–505–1 on their wire/cable coloring (or lack there of)?
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Unread post04 Jun 2010, 22:35

Just another routine troubleshoot and fix. Just gets more attention for obvious reasons.
“Its not the critic who counts..The credit belongs to the man who does actually strive to do the deeds..”
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Unread post04 Jun 2010, 23:15

But isn't it just more LM propaganda? :roll:


Many of the critics out there seem to believe the engineering releases from LM and the USG, but never anything about the funding or management. Maybe some of those people just can't wrap their head around the REAL challenges in building a fighter jet so they have to talk about the less complex stuff like costs, schedules, and PR so they can seem intelligent. I have targeted criticism myself of the program, but in the end I believe it will be an aircraft that makes history and changes the way we think about warfare in general.
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Unread post05 Jun 2010, 21:39

The flight computer in the F-35 is a Power PC microprocessor based system

Surprised to see the Lightning II is using Power PC microchips. I know militarized C.P.U.'s tend to lag behind their civilian counterparts, but hasn't the Power PC long since been replaced by Pentium's? Even Macintosh's run on Pentium system's now. Then again the (retiring) space shuttle computers were using processors from I.B.M. PC AT's from the late 80's era if I remember right. :shrug:
Good to see the F-35C flying anyway. :)
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
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Unread post06 Jun 2010, 07:31

FlightDreamz wrote:
The flight computer in the F-35 is a Power PC microprocessor based system

Surprised to see the Lightning II is using Power PC microchips. I know militarized C.P.U.'s tend to lag behind their civilian counterparts, but hasn't the Power PC long since been replaced by Pentium's? Even Macintosh's run on Pentium system's now. Then again the (retiring) space shuttle computers were using processors from I.B.M. PC AT's from the late 80's era if I remember right. :shrug:
Good to see the F-35C flying anyway. :)


You do know the x360 and PS3 both use PPCs right. Home PCs have absolutely no baring on what works in the embedded market. Also the pentium name was retired from frontline service after the disaster that was the p4. It has now replaced the celeron as the nameplate for super low end budget models.
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Unread post12 Jun 2010, 15:08

bjr1028
You do know the XBox360 and PS3 both use PPCs

Actually no I was under the impression that the XBox and PS3 were using different processors.

bjr1028
Also the pentium name was retired from frontline service after the disaster that was the p4

I remember the Athalon microchip breaking the 1Ghz "barrier" first waaaay back, and the Pentiums having some overheating issues, but I wouldn't call it a "disaster" (Windows ME and Windows Vista however is a different story, but I digress).
But back to the main point.
bjr1028
Home PCs have absolutely no baring on what works in the embedded market.

So then the military systems that aren't proprietary are strictly working off COMMERCIAL computer systems? Actually now that I think of it that makes sense, but I always assumed "off the shelf" components could come from anywhere. Thanks for the quick response, don't mean to sound rude or anything - just curious!
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Unread post12 Jun 2010, 15:39

FlightDreamz wrote:Actually no I was under the impression that the XBox and PS3 were using different processors.


Not only are they both PowerPCs, the PS3's cell and the xbox 360's xenon are actually related. The Cell has a 3.2ghz main core called the PPE and 7 specialized secondary units called SPEs. The Xbox doesn't use the SPEs and instead had a triple-core version of the PPE.

Also, "Commercial Off the shelf" means common to civilian industrial systems, not personal computer. When it comes to this market Power and PowerPC have ruled the market for a very long time.
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Unread post12 Jun 2010, 20:04

Apple went away from the PowerPC because they couldn't get enough fast enough, not because it was inferior.
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Unread post12 Jun 2010, 22:04

FlightDreamz wrote:Surprised to see the Lightning II is using Power PC microchips. I know militarized C.P.U.'s tend to lag behind their civilian counterparts, but hasn't the Power PC long since been replaced by Pentium's?



Pentiums are CISCs while Power PCs are RISCs. Why make the solution to a problem more complex than is necessary?
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Unread post13 Jun 2010, 02:23

This article may have appeared on another thread? Anyway here it is again if so:

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter leverages COTS for avionics systems By John McHale

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/ ... stems.html

"FORT WORTH, Texas—Designers of the avionics systems for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft are using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) avionics wherever and whenever possible throughout the advanced fighter’s cockpit.
“Performance, affordability, and maintainability of the platform over time are big part of why COTS is so important,” says Eric Branyan, vice president and deputy program manager for the F-35 program at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Fort Worth, Texas—systems integrator for the F-35.
COTS technology contributes to major parts of the F-35 avionics and electronic warfare capabilities, such as the electro-optic sensors, synthetic aperture radar, maps, and radio frequency (RF) systems, Branyan says. The aircraft also takes advantage of common data links such as SINCGARS and Link 16 to pass high-bandwidth data between the F-35 and other aircraft and ground stations to provide a common operating picture.
F-35 designers have found ways to manage the obsolescence headaches that accompany COTS, Branyan says. “We’ve been careful to develop the architecture so that if one part goes obsolete, we don’t have to redesign the entire system to replace it,” Branyan says.
There are different ways to approach obsolescence management such as lifetime buys of components that suppliers decide to obsolete, Branyan says.
He notes that the F-35 program makes lifetime buys when it is economical, but says the real key for the F-35 program is a Lockheed Martin-designed software middleware that enables experts to upgrade COTS hardware and software without rewriting millions of lines of code. “We built the middleware to protect us so we can make changes without overhauling the software code,” Branyan says.
The middleware enables systems designers to refresh key COTS components such as the Freescale PowerPC processors without major changes to the avionics, he continues. In the past, certifying a refresh of multifunction displays would take three to four years, now with the isolated middleware, the most recent refresh was completed in only six months, he adds.
On top of the middleware the F-35 avionics uses the Integrity DO-178B real-time operating system (RTOS) from Green Hills Software in Santa Barbara, Calif. This RTOS is already certified to FAA regulations, which is a huge advantage to Lockheed Martin, he adds.
Lockheed Martin also requires all software code to be written in the C++ programming language, which is the most common code in use today and enables faster code development, Branyan says.
COTS is also a big part of the cockpit display, Branyan says. “We use an active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) from L-3 Display Systems in Alpharetta, Ga.,” he adds. The pilot’s helmet-mounted display (HMD) is provided by Vision Systems International (VSI) in San Jose, Calif. VSI is a joint venture between Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Elbit Systems of America.
“The VSI system provides the F-35 warfighter with unmatched situational awareness throughout the operational profile of the jet,” says Drew Brugal, VSI president. “By keeping eyes out while viewing all critical information and video on the helmet visor, the pilot has a significant advantage in both air-to-air and air-to-ground mission execution.”
The L-3 display uses COTS processors and standard glass, Branyan says. Tweaks were made to militarize it for the F-35 with antiglare and night-vision capability, but otherwise it is similar to what one might see on commercial television, he adds.
Three years ago, Lockheed Martin was looking at multifunction displays that were based on projection technology, which was considered leading edge at the time, Branyan says. Now the technology is plasma and liquid crystal display (LCD). Having a COTS architecture makes it easier to adapt to these shifts in technology development, he adds.
Other common standards in use on the aircraft include the MIL-STD 1553 databus for weapons systems and 1394 for high-rate data systems, Branyan says.
The communication, navigation, and identification friend or foe (IFF) suite system relies on field -programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) from Xilinx in San Jose, Calif., Branyan says. The COTS devices enable Lockheed Martin to add new waveforms to embedded software radio systems in the F-35, he adds. The FPGAs also provide vice processing capability in real-time, Branyan notes.
All the avionics systems—hardware and software—have been tested in the air in the F-35 CATBIRD test system, Branyan says. The CATBIRD also enables refreshes of key electronics during the development of the program, so that when the F-35 is deployed it will have state-of-the-art systems, Branyan says.
These systems, largely made up of COTS standards and components, enable the fifth-generation fighter jet to have stealth capability and conduct air and ground attacks simultaneously, Branyan says.
What separates the F-35 from other fighter aircraft is its ability to fuse sensor information and communications from all elements of the battlespace—land, air, and sea—so the pilot can just respond to threats without adjusting sensors, Branyan says.
The F-35 also has anti-jamming capability and can block enemy emitters as well, Branyan says. This is a key game changer for how the F-35 can engage attack targets long before the target is aware of the F-35, he adds.
The aircraft will be manufactured in three variants—a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) for the U.S. Air Force, a carrier variant (CV) for the U.S. Navy, and a short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) for the U.S. Marine Corps and the United Kingdom Royal air force and navy, Branyan says.
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