NAI Programs

Recognized Leaders in Embedded Solutions

NAI is recognized as a leading supplier of rugged, reliable solutions that can be found in many mission-critical air, land and sea applications worldwide. Outlined below is a small sample of programs that highlight the design capabilities of North Atlantic Industries.


Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded Systems (ARES)

Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES)

Transporting and resupplying troops in rugged, austere terrain has become a major challenge, especially as the U.S. military shifts to using smaller and more distributed combat units. The Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) was in need of an operational VTOL system with a more compact footprint than those of conventional helicopters, coupled with higher cruise speeds. NAI's Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) SIU6 rugged chassis, populated with a highly configurable PowerPC-based SBC (64EP3) and exceptionally flexible and versatile, multifunction I/O VME boards (64C3) was the chosen solution. The ARES program is an example of how NAI’s modular and adaptive Custom-On-Standard-Architecture™ (COSA®) delivers SWaP-C efficient, I/O-intensive boards and systems with more processing power in less time at a lower system cost—all with no NRE. The integrator partnered with NAI for the ARES program due to our incomparable COSA® capabilities. Chief among them is the ability to configure boards with up to six module slots and 40+ functions without having to spend man-years developing a processing an I/O system from the ground-up.

Rotary Wing Avionics System

Rotary Wing Avionics System

An international military customer needed multiple communication interfaces for its helicopter, as well as a method to process many channels of various analog and digital signals. A rugged, conduction-cooled, self-contained system that could be networked to other systems on the helicopter was required. The SIU6 provided an excellent solution with a local PowerPC processor and over 100 channels of various intelligent, multifunction I/O. In addition, the SIU6 met all demanding environmental and EMI requirements. This fully integrated and tested network solution enabled the customer to interface and process all I/O signals in a SWaP-efficient box using COTS components.

AC-130 U Gunship

AC-130U Gunship

DoD requirements were to deliver a form, fit, and functional replacement for the LWCP (Loader Weapon Control Panel) and ECU (Electronic Control Unit) on the AC-130 Gunship.

NAI worked closely with SSAI engineers to select the exact hardware and firmware solutions to meet all their system needs. SSAI selected NAI's complete I/O and processing solution based on our field-proven, flexible COTS I/O, and Processor Technology.

“SSAI looked at numerous COTS solution sets, and NAI was the only vendor we found capable of meeting all the performance requirements with existing, proven equipment,” explains Cliff Driver, SSAI Vice President of Operations. “The final flight test results of the new ECU/LWCP system exceeded the requirements and improved the overall accuracy of the Gunship, as well as the reliability and maintainability of the gun systems— resulting in real benefits to USAF war fighters.”

Predator Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Predator / Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Due to tight size constraints, the system designers needed an integrated Pulse Width Modulation (PWM), high-current, servo motor drive control and associated power supply for its FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared Radar) multi-spectral targeting system (MST-A). NAI's Multifunction I/O Board and Power Supply Divisions worked together under a very tight design schedule to deliver a dual-channel, VME PWM motor control card and VME power supply. The power supply provides clean power to the PWM and handles high-peak current. In addition, the UAV platform uses an NAI power monitor to manage input power. The Engineering team at NAI was able to execute with exceptional turnaround time— from concept to production in less than six months.


M60A3 Main Battle Tank

M60A3 Main Battle Tank

The M60A3 Integrated Fire Control System (IFCS) provides the tank with the ability to acquire and track both stationary and mobile targets while the tank is on the move. Two of NAI's DC/DC converters (55GS1 and 55KT1) power the IFCS electronics. These rugged conduction-cooled designs meet the requirements of MIL-STD-461, 704 and 810. The customer reviewed the complete costs of assembling their own solutions using a module-based approach and decided that our one-box, mount, connect-and-go solutions provided an overall lower-cost solution. In addition, the program utilizes an NAI DC/AC Sine Inverter (44KS1-01) to power a gyro. The customer experienced power fluctuations while using another supplier's product. In less than one month, NAI submitted a design for a form, fit and function replacement solution and subsequently received the order.

Fire Control COTS Solution

Fire Control

An international military customer needed to control the motion of a gun system with synchro interfaces. The solution had to be fast with no NRE and had to work "out-of-the-box" due to limited deployment times. The customer turned to NAI for a COTS solution that would be fully integrated and tested by one supplier. The system demanded a rugged solution with remote communications near the I/O and Gun Motors. NAI proposed the SIU33 to provide the digital discretes and synchro analog outputs needed to activate, rotate, and point the gun system— all done without an SBC in the box. Utilizing our COTS boards and Gig-E communications, our integrated solution helped accelerate our customer's time-to-mission.


LCAC-SSC Data Acquisition Unit

The NAI SIU35 offers modular, intelligent Data Acquisition Control solutions for the SSC Program (video 2:19)


The Navy is replacing the existing LCAC with the LCAC-SSC, a faster, more efficient vessel with the ability to carry more payload. L-3 Maritime Systems selected NAI's SUI35 for the new ship's Data Acquisition and Control System. Six "common" Data Acquisition units are located throughout the vessel and each system communicates via Ethernet to the mission processor located in the control bay, keeping unnecessary hardware out of this area and closer to the sensors being controlled. NAI's rugged, SWaP-C efficient and flexible, Custom-On-Standard-Architecture™ (COSA®) enabled the customer to move forward with hardware decisions before knowing the final requirement, which helped to keep the program on schedule.

LHD 8 Amphibious Assault Ship

LHD 8 Amphibious Assault Ship

One of the design challenges on this 847-foot ship was managing the signals generated by over 12,000 sensors for the electrical generators, propulsion, engine turbine, and other critical management systems. Designers of the LHD 8 electronics chose North Atlantic's VME Intelligent Multifunction I/O card (64C1) and Serial Communications card (64D1) to integrate A/D conversion, D/A conversion, Serial and Profibus communications, Discrete I/O, RTD, and 4-20ma signal data onto the VME bus. The systems' integrators reached the goal of reducing "manpower" by providing strategically distributed sensor interface systems dedicated to specific tasks and networked via Ethernet. Automated redundant and multi-point monitoring with shared sensor data was realized, easing the burden on the ships' systems management.

Through the use of NAI's products, designers reduced card count by 50%— cutting the costs, system size, weight, and power consumption of the system. In addition, the extensive test and diagnostic capabilities of the 64C1 improved system maintainability by making it possible to trace and identify signal interference faults, such as open lines and undefined range faults, to the card, module, and/or channel level for identification and action. Following successful deployment, the same VME systems were utilized in the next generation LHA-class amphibious assault ships.

Unmanned Sub (ACTUV)

Unmanned Sub (ACTUV)

NAI supplied an extremely high-density I/O and communication subsystem for the unmanned amphibious assault ship. This standalone subsystem is rugged and conduction-cooled. The ACTUV (ASW Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) Mission Processor connects to the SIU6 via two Gig-E ports to manage, monitor, and control 20 analog input channels; 4 analog output channels; 12 RTD channels; 48 highly programmable discrete I/O channels; and, serial, CANBus, and ProfiBus sensor data. By eliminating the SBC, NAI was able to reduce SWaP, increase overall reliability, and eliminate Board Support Package and Run-Time-License costs.