GE Intelligent Platforms today announced that it had completed delivery of a $6.5 million order from Boeing (Long Beach, CA). The order, to enable the development of upgrades to the US Air Force’s B-1B bomber, was received in March 2008, with a requirement for completion in time to enable planned flight testing early in 2011.
The upgrades, which are expected to generate production orders starting in 2011, will provide the B-1B with a Vertical Situation Display Upgrade (VSDU), giving aircrew improved protection against hostile action. Included are an adapted version of the GE Intelligent Platforms Octegra3 6U VME rugged video/graphics processor and VIM2 rugged video input mezzanine.
Importantly, Boeing’s requirement was that the subsystems were DO-178B certified, meaning that the development process used conforms to strict quality criteria designed to maximize the safety of airborne systems. GE Intelligent Platforms subcontracted with Ultra Electronics Controls to undertake the necessary development and qualification of the board support package (BSP). Ultra Electronics Controls was selected because of the company’s extensive experience and expertise in delivering DO-178B certified systems. In addition, Presagis provided a DO-178B compliant version of its OpenGL embedded graphics solution.
“Our ultimate goal was to provide a highly cost-effective solution to meet Boeing’s requirements,” said Peter Cavill, General Manager, Military & Aerospace Products at GE Intelligent Platforms. “By working with Ultra Electronics Controls and Presagis on aspects of the project, we simplified the process for Boeing. Because of the depth and breadth of the GE Intelligent Platforms product line, we were able to modify a standard product that precisely met Boeing’s needs, therefore providing a low risk solution that maximized the chances that Boeing could meet its commitment to its customer. ”
The Octegra3 video/graphics processor is designed for demanding applications such as aircraft cockpit displays that require multiple video inputs, multiple video outputs and high performance graphics overlay. It features both a general purpose computing processor from Freescale and a dedicated graphics processor. The VIM2 video input mezzanine card is specifically designed for operation with the Octegra3, providing five independent video input channels and four independent scalers.
The B-1B first flew in October 1984. It can operate at more than 30,000 feet and has a range of more than 7,000 miles. It holds 61 world records for speed, payload and distance. In March 2008, the B-1B became the first aircraft to fly at supersonic speed using synthetic fuel. The fuel was a 50/50 blend of conventional JP-8 petroleum and a synthetic fuel. The flight was part of an ongoing USAF program to certify the alternative fuel for all USAF aircraft. There are currently 66 B-1 aircraft in service.
About GE Intelligent Platforms
GE Intelligent Platforms (ge-ip.com) is an experienced high-performance technology company and a global provider of software, hardware, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique foundation of agile and reliable technology providing customers a sustainable advantage in the industries they serve, including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government & defense, and telecommunications. GE Intelligent Platforms is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA.
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