Virtutech Simics selected by General Dynamics for U.S. Navy MUOS project

Virtual test and development platform for satellite ground systems said to reduce need for multi-million dollar test hardware and accelerate software development.
By Control Engineering Staff May 28, 2008

San Jose, CA Virtutech , a provider of virtualized software development solutions for advanced electronic systems, says that General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, will deploy its Simics system for the ground segment of the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) program. The ground system will be provided by Lockheed Martin, prime contractor for the MUOS program, according to the company.
MUOS is the U.S. military’s next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system, designed to significantly enhance ground communications for U.S. and Allied mobile forces. General Dynamics C4 Systems is leading the development and deployment of the MUOS ground system that provides communications and control interfaces between MUOS satellites and existing and future U.S. Department of Defense terrestrial communication networks.
The software developer says, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, prime contractor and systems engineering lead for the MUOS program, is under contract to design, build and deploy the first two MUOS satellites and the associated MUOS ground system. The Navy’s Program Executive Office for Space Systems, and its Communications Satellite Program Office in San Diego, CA, are responsible for the MUOS program.
Virtutech says that Simics is the only platform able to provide an environment that could support rigorous testing and, at the highest level of abstraction at the transaction-level modeling (TLM), is fast enough to be useful for software developers. This is critical to the development of the MUOS ground system. MUOS will provide simultaneous voice, video and data communication for warfighters on the move.
The company says its software provides a virtualized software development environment, minimizing the need to build multiple multi-million-dollar test models of satellite systems hardware. Leveraging the system, General Dynamics can simulate satellite ground systems hardware to create a testing and debugging tool for the MUOS mission operations. By injecting faults in the simulated ground systems hardware, the mission operations team can implement efficient responses to possible failures or anomalies in the actual system prior to the launch, which provides comprehensive training opportunities and invaluable insight into the activities of the real system long before the actual hardware is available.
— Edited by C.G. Masi , senior editor
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