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NAI Provides SSAI Winning Hardware and Software Solution - Improving Accuracy of the AC-130U Gunship - Resulting in War Fighter Benefits

SSAI Selects Flexible COTS I/O and Processor Technology from NAI that 'Exceeds all Requirements'

Bohemia NY - Engineers from SSAI select commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) 3U CompactPCI technology from North Atlantic Industries (NAI) in Bohemia, NY to be used in the replacement Loader Weapon Control Panel (LWCP) and Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for the AC-130U Gunship. The LWCP provides user interface for gunner control of the 40mm and 105mm weapons on the Gunship. The ECU takes the Mission Computer commanded position and senses feedback on actual gun position to control the dynamic aiming of the AC-130U Trainable Gun Mounts.

The Government requirements were to deliver form, fit, and functional replacement ECU and LWCP designs that maintained or exceeded the performance of the obsolete legacy equipment. NAI worked closely with SSAI engineers to select the exact hardware and firmware solution to meet all system needs. "SSAI looked at numerous COTS solution sets, and NAI was the only vendor we found capable of meeting all the performance requirements with existing, proven equipment," explains Cliff Driver, SSAI Vice President of Operations. "The final flight test results of the new ECU/LWCP system exceeded the requirements and improved the overall accuracy of the Gunship, as well as the reliability and maintainability of the gun systems - resulting in real benefits to USAF war fighters."

The system uses a full complement of NAI's rugged, 3U CompactPCI I/O boards (75DP3, 75C3) including A/D, D/A, Synchro/ LVDT Measurement, MIL-STD-1553, RS422 functions; highly programmable discrete I/O; U2 processors, and power supplies (55LQ2) in both boxes.

"Our goal was to provide a COTS solution that met space, power and cost targets for a winning SSAI ECU/LWCP proposal," said Lino Massafra, VP of Sales and Marketing at NAI. "Detailed discussions early in the process regarding system requirements enabled NAI to offer SSAI a complete I/O and processing solution based on our industry leading, high density, continuous BIT-enabled, multi-function I/O solutions and Analog Devices' Blackfin® processor."

Support Systems Associates, Inc. (SSAI) is a privately owned, nationwide company that specializes in engineering, logistics and management services to both Government and industry. Founded in 1969, SSAI has grown steadily to become a current leader in the field of military aircraft and avionics modification and sustainment.

North Atlantic Industries (NAI) is a leading independent supplier of Embedded I/O Boards, Single Board Computers, Rugged Power Supplies, Embedded Systems, Motion Simulation and Measurement Instruments for the Military, Aerospace and Industrial Industries. NAI provides the highest quality COTS and modified COTS products in Commercial, Extended Temperature and Rugged versions. Information about NAI and its products can be found at


Lisa Boccone

North Atlantic Industries, Inc.


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