WINTEC is developing the Open Architecture/Common Interfaces (OA/CI) for Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Munitions Directorate – helping to evolve the GBU-X suite of flexible air-launched weapon systems for next-generation mission capabilities.
GBU-X will enable “plug & play” capabilities for many of the modules comprising the general Open Architecture to support technology refresh, enhance mission capability, and enable cost competition for internal components.
In addition to developing the GBU-X OA/CI Interface Control Documents (ICDs), WINTEC is also supporting facilitation of quarterly Interface Control Working Group (ICWG) meetings – engaging Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in evolving the ICDs and technical direction for the GBU-X family-of- weapons concept. The SMEs comprise representatives of many of the Aerospace & Defense prime contractors and major suppliers within the air-launched precision-guided weapons community.
As the basic Open Architecture continues to mature, more in-depth technical research and development will ensue for each of the technical domains comprising the OA. Developing Common Interfaces for an abstracted Open Architecture represents a significant challenge in that the Common Interfaces must accommodate all possible technical implementations that may exist by all primes and their suites of technologies and designs – either existing or planned.
To support validation of the OA/CI, modeling of candidate GBU-X internal communications technologies continues. Various sectors of the OA will be modeled from a data communications standpoint, e.g., the aircraft platform interface to the carriage systems and the GBU-X Mission Controller domain; the Navigation, Guidance and Autopilot domains; IMU, GPS and other navigation-aiding sensors, and integration by Navigation domain, etc. Ultimately, the full scope of the weapon architecture will be modeled for validation the ICD and the internal communications implementation approach.
AFRL/RW’s support for the GBU-X OA/CI, ICD/ICWG, and communications modeling efforts will continue to refine and add fidelity to the GBU-X weapon systems during the 2017 and 2018 timeframe.