Edgewater Computer Systems and the United States Air Force Announce New Release of the 1553 Military Standard

Mil-Std-1553B Notice 5 improves data throughput capacity over existing communications infrastructure

WASHINGTON D.C. - April 19, 2006 - Edgewater Computer Systems, Inc., in conjunction with the United States Air Force, announced the release of Mil-Std-1553B Notice 5, an update of the existing 1553 data bus standard for military avionics. Edgewater, which developed the technology, referred to as Extended 1553 or E1553, worked with the USAF and U.S. Navy to test it over the course of three publicly tendered contracts.

The E1553 data bus technology enables cost-effective, incremental upgrades of aging aircraft, provides substantially improved performance across the 1553 data bus, and enables the functionality and capabilities required to support advanced processor, sensor and network communications.

"Since 2001, Edgewater has been working closely with the U.S. Air Force to develop Extended 1553 and today is the culmination of all those years of hard work and effort," said Duane Anderson, President and CEO of Edgewater. "By extending the usage of the existing infrastructure, Extended 1553 provides massively improved data throughput without forcing military organizations to incur the significant costs and down-time associated with a complete rework of their aircraft."

E1553 increases the data throughput capacity of the 1553 data bus from one Mbps to an uncompressed 200 Mbps over existing aircraft wiring while maintaining a 10-12 bit error ratio and without impact to existing 1553 data bus, terminals, and communications.

In December 2005, the USAF awarded Edgewater a US$75,000,000 Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to help the USAF prepare for the deployment of E1553 and to support additional avionics and electronics capabilities that require high bandwidth data bus networking.

"Mil-Std 1553B Notice 5 or Extended 1553 offers an affordable solution that meets the data communications needs of today's avionics systems. Edgewater was the only company to show us that we could massively increase the intra-networking capacity of the platform without the cost and downtime associated with implementing a new, invasive network," said Mr. William Urschel, Chief Architect, U.S. Air Force, Wright-Patterson A.F.B. "Edgewater's development activities continue to meet the technical and programmatic requirements of the US Air Force."

Edgewater has successfully completed multiple demonstrations of its E1553 technology to the USAF and the U.S. Navy. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing of E1553 was done at an Air Force Research Labs facility, in USAF aircraft ground tests, and in numerous USAF and USN Systems Integration Laboratory tests. In all cases, E1553 successfully met or exceeded the U.S. military requirements related to increasing the capacity of the 1553 intra-aircraft network. Hill Air Force Base in Utah is doing a full integration of Edgewater's E1553 interface cards into F-16 Block 30 line replaceable units in preparation for flight testing later this year.

"Our experience with Edgewater's E1553 technology at the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, has categorically demonstrated that it will meet or exceed the capacity demands required by today's tactical and strategic platforms, without the time-consuming and prohibitively high cost prospect of re-wiring the aircraft," said Larry E. Hollingsworth, Director, Aircraft Operations Division, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). "Edgewater consistently delivers on its promise to extend 1553 communications in support of the next generation of military technology and we look forward to the pending flight tests of the E1553 technology."

Developed in the 1970s, the 1553 data bus is the predominant LAN technology used in aircraft flown by the U.S. Department of Defense and allied countries today. At the time it was developed, 1553 was cutting-edge technology, delivering a data throughput rate of one Mbps and unprecedented reductions in energy consumption, mass and volume.

While many of the aircraft using 1553 have over 20 years of serviceable life left, the legacy 1553 data bus cannot meet the performance requirements of modern processors and sensor technologies. E1553 enables the increased performance and functionality needed to meet these requirements and also supports the requirements of Network Centric Operations and Warfare (NCOW).

Edgewater's E1553 design is so advanced that it falls under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations administered by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, under the U.S. Department of State. This means that Mil-Std-1553B Notice 5 was released under Distribution D authority, which limits its distribution to authorized persons and, as such, Edgewater cannot publicly reveal details of its E1553 design.

U.S. Government personnel can obtain copies of Mil-Std-1553B Notice 5 through the Defense Document Automation and Publication Service (DAPS) ASSIST-Online service over the Internet at assist.daps.dla.mil/. Canadian Government personnel, and personnel with registered U.S. and Canadian contractors, can request it from the ASC/AFRL Engineering Standards Office by submitting an email request to engineering.standards@wpafb.af.mil.

Edgewater Computer Systems, Inc. is a provider of advanced computer and communications technology products for enterprise and embedded computing applications. Founded in 1988, Edgewater has an extensive background developing real-time high-performance multiprocessor systems for military, government, and commercial organizations. The company currently has two distinct product lines: multi-channel wireless communications and wired data communications. For more information, please visit www.edgewater.ca.

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Linda Woods
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