Primagraphics has been awarded a $1.5million contract by Boeing to supply its Sentinel record and replay systems for use on board the UK’s new Maritime Patrol Aircraft, to be known as the Nimrod MRA4.
The Nimrod MRA4 will be used to protect the UK’s coastal waters and economic zones and to provide search-and-rescue operations for the Royal Air Force.
Engineers with Boeing Operations International, based at Warton, UK, needed a cost-effective method of recording and replaying high-resolution (1280×1024) screen images generated by the aircraft’s tactical command system. It was imperative that the chosen system provided a precise record of what pilots and operators would see on any one of the six consoles available in each aircraft – for example radar and sonar sensor data which is needed for post-mission analysis.
The Sentinel system – being supplied as modified VME format boards for plugging into the backplane of a ruggedised air transport rack – provided Boeing with an economical, lightweight and highly effective way to record high fidelity computer screen images directly onto a standard Hi-8 videocassette. The system utilises Primagraphics’ unique pixel rate conversion technique, which maintains the original screen resolution by slowing the replayed content update rate.
Sentinel has been designed for use in civilian and military C2 markets in applications where there is a need for a precise record of exactly what an operator sees on the screen. This could include: mission critical applications, such as command and control systems; training or mission analysis systems; or for archiving key data from vessel or air traffic control displays.
British Aerospace won the $3 billion contract in July 1996 to upgrade the UK’s fleet of Nimrod aircraft with new mission equipment and engines. Boeing is a major subcontractor responsible for the tactical command system and will provide advanced maritime surveillance radar, acoustic surveillance systems and electro-optics.