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                                                    MathTech

ESG was contacted by MathTech to help save a project that was in serious trouble due to the remaining time-to-compete and the remaining funds available. MathTech had a contract to deliver a Proof of Concept  system  to the  Navy that  implemented an intercom and control panel for all radios on board a E-2C Hawkeye.  The Hawkeye is an airborne early warning command and control aircraft used by the Navy.  The concept  featured LAN based control stations for each crew member.  No physical components had been designed, and no schematics existed.

First the front panel was re-defined as using only one rotary knob for all radios and intercom volume settings. Next an operator protocol was conceived to allow the audio from radios and crew members to be selected and adjusted.  A schematic was then created at ESG and a PCB fabricated.  A machine shop was retained and directed by ESG to fabricate the various custom plastic push bottoms and a black front panel plate. The circuit board had a PIC microprocessor that was programmed at ESG.  Finally an IBM computer was programmed to interact with the control panel to verify that the PIC microprocessor was functioning properly.  This work was completed and demonstrated within about 6 weeks from MathTech's initial contact.
           

Control Panel                Booth1  (That's me, John Painter ESG)

MathTech wrote the LAN system software to interconnect the crew stations. Various other system components were created at ESG using tools available at ESG, including the demo booth shown above. The Navy held an event to allow actual career crewmen to evaluate the operator interface.  The ESG demo booth allowed three crewmen to listen to simulated radios and to intercom their voices to each other.  The system was declared a great success.

MathTech letter1       Mathtech letter2


The final version of the system has of course been promoted to military standards.  It is in service on Hawkeyes today.   The operator interface is immediately recognizable as it has been changed very little from ESG's original concept.  The project used the following skills at ESG:    Digital Engineering, Schematic Design and Capture, PCB Layout, Microprocessor Programming, FPGA Coding and Programming, IBM PC Programming, Electronics Assembly/Test/Debug, Mechanical Specification and Fabrication.  All work except for the LAN software development was done at ESG's Gaithersburg facility. 


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