Mercury Federal Systems to Develop Testbed for JCREW Program

Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRCY) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Mercury Federal Systems, Inc., has received a $2.5 million contract award from U.S. Army Ft. Monmouth’s CECOM in New Jersey, for development and demonstration of a testbed to support the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare (JCREW) program. The testbed will be used by the U.S. Government to develop and test advanced open-architecture technology for counter-IED systems development.

An IED (improvised explosive device), commonly known as a “road-side bomb,” is designed to distract, destroy or incapacitate personnel or vehicles. Crafted from combustible, toxic, destructive, and often lethal chemicals from military or commercially sourced explosives, IEDs are capable of propagating a life-threatening effect beyond shrapnel, concussive blasts, and fire normally associated with bombs.

Under this contract, Mercury will provide an “open-systems” digital signal processing (DSP) architecture technology and testbed systems for counter-IED research and development, as well as systems engineering support services to the U.S. Government and to contractors that use the testbed facilities. In addition, Mercury will demonstrate a scalable data acquisition and processing application within a very dense, size/weight/power (SWaP)-constrained environment. Mercury will further demonstrate the X-Midas platform-independent software framework as an application environment, which is designed to reuse existing applications from other Government and contractor sources for developing DSP applications.

Mercury also announced a related agreement with ITT Electronic Systems (NYSE: ITT), a leading supplier of information and electronic warfare (EW) technologies, systems, and services that enable mission success and survivability for a broad range of military aircraft. Through collaboration with ITT’s Electronic Warfare Systems business area, the strengths of each organization shall be leveraged to demonstrate algorithm component portability for the JCREW testbed architecture, which is an important element of the R&D objectives of the program.

“It is our intention to collaborate with high-technology companies such as Mercury, to enable the rapid design and development of affordable electronic warfare systems for military applications,” said Pete Steensma, Director, Advanced Concepts and Technology at ITT Electronic Systems. “We look forward to this relationship and the mutual pursuit of follow-on opportunities in the electronic warfare market.”

In the initial development effort, Mercury and ITT will combine forces to implement and demonstrate the portability of the CANWAC (Constant Amplitude Network Waveform Adaptive Combiner) algorithm. Mercury will provide ITT with its Waveform-Ready(TM) processing platform and Component Portability Infrastructure(TM) (CPI(TM)) middleware. CPI simplifies programming and greatly improves code portability, interoperability, and performance in FPGA- and DSP-based heterogeneous processing environments, by providing well-defined waveform component APIs with a set of infrastructure building blocks that act as a hardware abstraction layer. The Mercury Waveform-Ready processing platform combines the latest processor, transceiver, and interconnect technologies with CPI to help customers rapidly meet the challenge of leveraging evolving standards and emerging technologies.

Mercury believes a common technology baseline can be deployed to cover a range of mission requirements. “Leveraging the advantages of an open architecture with a software-programmable environment will be critical to affordably and rapidly developing new applications, and inserting new technologies into deployed mission-critical systems,” said Terry Ryan, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Mercury Federal Systems, Inc. “Together with ITT Electronic Systems, we will make this possible, as we have the necessary capabilities to develop open solutions that will enable new and emerging threats to be detected, countered, and tracked in a time-critical manner.”

More information: Mercury’s CPI middleware