Technology Today - Home
 
 
Customized Engineering & Depot Support (CEDS) Capability Overview
Raytheon Technical Services Company's (RTSC) Customized Engineering and Depot Support (CEDS) business area is a unique Mission Support center made up of highly skilled, solution-oriented, diverse engineers who represent a wide variety of capabilities and services not typically bundled together. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., its platform-agnostic approach of "No Platform Left Behind" is a fitting tagline for the focus of the business: ensuring that every system supported maintains its combat effectiveness and relevance. This includes long-term engineering and depot support for legacy and newer systems such as the EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft and the V-22 Osprey. It means engineering innovative smart-display solutions for the A-10, B-52 and CH-53, alongside depot services for ground radar systems like Firefinder and airborne radars such as those on the F-15. CEDS boasts manufacturing capabilities that include airborne pod systems like the Shared Reconnaissance Pod. Its reach stretches across North America — from Indianapolis to Norfolk, Va.; Houston; El Segundo and Chula Vista, Calif.; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Capabilities, Products, Services
Raytheon's engineering staff approaches the problem of current system relevance by defining the capability gap in a current system, then delivering timely and cost-effective solutions. These solutions can be applied internally or externally. For example, the delivery of situational awareness (SA) to older aircraft is provided internally by replacing an older display with a "smart" one with SA integrated into the display. Another innovation to keep a system relevant is to provide an airborne tactical reconnaissance capability using a pod with an external fuel tank form factor.

One capability gap identified was the lack of timely delivery of sensitive, accurate and relevant information to operators in a contextual manner. The goal was to define an approach to provide processing, visualization and network connectivity on as many platforms as possible at an affordable cost, while minimizing the impact on the existing platforms.

The solution developed by Raytheon to address these capability gaps for different platforms was instantiated on two different pieces of hardware, displayed in Figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1 depicts a pilot using an Electronic Data Manager (EDM). The lightweight EDM provides situational awareness of the operating theater in the form of moving maps with global positioning system location, checklists, landing zone diagrams, manuals, demonstrations and future capability development.

Figure 2 shows the instantiation of the Smart Display product line on the Air National Guard A-10A+. The smart display approach provides upgrades to avionics systems by replacing existing display systems with form-fit replacements enabling enhanced situational awareness. This approach has been proven effective with the Air National Guard A-10A+ upgrade. Designed as a form-fit replacement for the Maverick black-and-white cathode ray tube display, the smart display provides pilots with additional situational awareness and improved control by providing:
  • Digital moving map
  • Battlefield networking using situational awareness data link and cursor on target, which provide Blue Force SA capability, imagery and digital targeting information
  • Display of sensor imagery
  • Integration with hands on throttle and stick controls
Three capabilities allow Raytheon to provide a rapid solution for the customer:
  • Our capability center, where we can work with the customer to define or analyze solutions
  • Our Raytheon Accelerated Product Innovation & Development Shop (RAPIDS), for rapid prototyping
  • Our product-line architecture approach

Capability Center
Getting the word out to customers and enabling interactive discussions is important to long-term success. The newly opened Indianapolis Capabilities Center is a high tech multimedia facility used for demonstrations and future capability development. The facility is a fully networked laboratory with capabilities to support Mission Systems Integration (MSI) modeling and simulation, CONOPS development, command and control simulations, and integrated net-centric test activities.

Designed to leverage capabilities across Raytheon, this center integrates existing labs at Indianapolis (see Figure 3) through the Indianapolis Network Linking Lab (NLL) backbone. The center and its systems have connectivity to all of Raytheon. In addition, the NLL provides a combination of real and simulated aircraft systems, data links, tactical networks, and voice communications. Full connectivity to the Enterprise Modeling and Simulation system and Raytheon Distributed Experiments is planned for later in 2009. With this infrastructure, the center is a force multiplier for MSI capability integration activities.

Smart Display Product Line Architecture (PLA)
The Smart Display product line is in part the genesis for an ongoing effort to leverage common functionality developed on many different platforms. Creating a PLA, in concert with the RAPIDS lab, is another enabler for future business, permitting rapid, cost effective solutions through common reuse of software and hardware components.

RAPIDS Prototyping Services/Process
In order to meet stringent schedule demands of customers, CEDS has developed RAPIDS, which follows a standardized, tailored Capability Maturity Model® Integration process. RAPIDS provides the ability to build prototype units for visualization and fit-checks in 24 hours. These quick prototypes are critical to reducing costs and detecting manufacturing issues before producing expensive tooling for advanced prototypes. This process also increases customer confidence in proposed Raytheon solutions.

One successful implementation of RAPIDS is the spiral development approach for the EDM. EDM Spiral I went from contract award to field installation in theater in only six months. Success of this Spiral I effort led to development and manufacture of more than 3,000 advanced Spiral EDMs. Future Smart Display systems will utilize the PLA and RAPIDS to enhance winning solutions.

Summary
Raytheon's combination of services, engineering, products and manufacturing is positioning the company for greater growth in the Mission Support arena. As can be seen by the CEDS example, Raytheon is structured and well positioned to meet warfighter needs through rapid, innovative techniques. Combined with its longstanding Mission Support capabilities, it is a one-stop shop for customers seeking to maintain their combat edge with equipment they bring to the fight. The examples provided are a small representation of how Raytheon will continue to excel in this strategic business area.

Todd Lovell

Contributors: Joan M. Mahoney, Michael A. Huff