Future Combat Systems (FCS) is but a distant memory, but the need to stay on the bleeding edge of technology in military and aerospace (mil/aero) environments remains unchanged. Today’s missions in harsh and challenging environments call for the latest and greatest technological advances.
FCS, the program created to deliver manned and unmanned advanced network-centric warfare and new combat vehicles with sufficient armor, power, and cooling systems, was cancelled in 2009. Now soldiers in the field are left with the gut-wrenching choice of running only a finite number of mission-critical systems, such as the radar and radio rather than the IED detection system, because there is insufficient power (and often not the right kind of power) to run all necessary systems simultaneously.
Some aspects of FCS have been rolled into the U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization Program (BCT), with a focus on modernization aimed at retrofitting already existing platforms. One of the biggest headaches to tackle in any modernization program is wiring. To this end, Mentor Graphics and its partners aim to make wire harness design, development, testing, and verification a piece of cake with the adoption of the Mentor Graphics Capital software suite.
Capital, an advanced software suite for electrical system and wire harness applications, is employed by aerospace and automotive firms, as well as various harness makers. Capital integrates tools designed to maximize productivity by streamlining and automating the production of electrical and wire harness designs. (For more, visit http://www.mentor.com/products/electrical-design-software/capital/.) This geek appreciates the data-centric approach to system design and integration, and would like to see greater adoption of such software for ground combat vehicles.