Client's Story: The same facility resources that made this
story possible are available for lease to your engineering team.
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.
(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.