Lockheed Martin UK Selects Enea’s Database Management Systems for Merlin Helicopter
Stockholm, Sweden, and Birmingham, UK – Embedded Systems Show, October 17, 2007 – Enea (Nordic Exchange/SmallCap/ENEA), a world leading provider of network software and services, today announced that Lockheed Martin UK has selected its Polyhedra™ database management system for use in the Merlin Capability Sustainment Program (MCSP). Polyhedra will be used to provide reliable, real-time data storage and management for the Merlin Helicopter’s Tactical Mission Computer (TMC) System.
“We selected Polyhedra for incorporation within the Tactical Management Computer Software after conducting a trade study that considered the benefits of several COTS databases,” said Lockheed Martin UK’s Jeff Goddard. “Polyhedra provided the performance and functionality we were looking for in a real time database, the product meets our needs, and integration within our system was cost effective and straightforward.”
“As avionics software becomes more complex, developers are finding it increasingly more difficult to provide reliable, high-performance data management using home-grown solutions,” said Virginia Walker, senior vice president of corporate strategy and marketing at Enea. “Polyhedra gives avionics developers a full-featured RDBMS solution that delivers a unique blend of real-time performance and fault-tolerance in an easy-to-integrate COTS package. With Polyhedra handling the database management, Lockheed Martin UK’s design team can get a head start on the application development process.”
Lockheed Martin UK serves as the prime contractor for MCSP, a multiyear project to upgrade the weapon system in the Royal Navy’s Merlin helicopter. The project’s mission is to utilize open systems technology to reduce full-life-cycle cost of ownership, facilitate technology refresh and insertion, and substantially improve the helicopter’s mission system display and radar/sonar capabilities. The first flight of the upgraded helicopter is planned for 2010.
The MCSP will examine all aspects of the weapon system, including ground support and control. Merlin’s man-machine interface will receive particular emphasis, with developers seeking to make it more versatile and intuitive, reduce operator workload, and facilitate simultaneous control over multiple and diverse functions.
Polyhedra will be used in flight on Freescale PowerPC-based systems, running atop the INTEGRITY real-time operating system from Green Hills Software. Polyhedra will store dynamic, mission-relevant data, utilizing its replica mechanism to disseminate that data to a number of tactical mission systems. The replica databases, in turn, will utilize Polyhedra’s active query facility to keep their local operator screens updated.
Polyhedra is an active SQL RDBMS that provides a persistent, fault-tolerant, high-performance data repository for embedded systems applications. Featuring a small code footprint, Polyhedra uses a memory-resident design that boosts performance by up to an order of magnitude relative to conventional disk- and flash-based RDBMSs. Polyhedra’s active, event-driven technology makes databases more robust, simplifies applications and en¬hances performance. Polyhedra also offers features like journaling and fault-tolerant mechanisms (i.e., failover control and fast reconnection) that ensure data persistence and enhance system availability.
Polyhedra’s unique active query mechanism allows applications to be kept up to date without the need for applications to poll the server (to detect changes). Because the client application is told precisely what has changed, the application need not refresh its queries. Moreover, there is a built-in mechanism for throttling back the update rate if changes occur more rapidly than the client can process them. This all leads to a responsive system with low latency data distribution, and good scalability with graceful degradation in times of peak load. The replica mechanism allows data to be localized for performance, and also offloads the query load from the master database.