Case Studies

Command and Control

Originally conceived for naval applications, command-control-communication-intelligence (C3I) systems provide a central collection point for information. They also facilitate the sharing of information and allow action to be taken based upon it. The information itself may come from onboard sensors or from remote sources such as other elements of a group.

Hand controllers supplied for use in C3I systems can be among the most complex of any application. The difficulty is usually not related to functionality – it’s about integrating the hand controller into an electronic system that often uses a customer-specific interface protocol.

Solution

We designed the DG118-3 control grip to overcome this particular challenge. It consists of a grip containing only a single miniature force-operated joystick and a guarded trigger, but three interface circuits are mounted under the grip. These circuits receive information from a host computer after it’s been processed by a micro-controller. Data from the miniature joystick, along with additional switch data, is added to the host's information and transmitted down one of three bussed serial links. This process is controlled by a second micro-controller. We also incorporated extensive built-in-test (BIT) functionality, allowing the grip to detect faults within its circuits and report them to the host system. 

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