The increasing complexity of ordnance systems with multiple initiation devices force designers and system integrators to utilize digital architecture and bus systems. However, the criticality of mission success and man-rated systems demands the system have the same reliability as the traditional, discrete, passive systems. Pacific Scientific developed a networked ordnance control system by piggybacking on $10M development in the automotive industry for airbag initiation and seat belt retention. Called “Smart Energetics Architecture” (SEA™) Technology, it utilizes an FPGA and a proprietary ASIC modified for military applications arranged in a master/slave architecture to enable wiring up to 48 ordnance devices on a single bus. It is capable of providing data for health monitoring and diagnostics and also power to fire the devices. Each of the ordnance device assemblies has an ASIC circuit and firing capacitor built in, which reduces the required system power, eliminates the need for heavy wiring and high currents, drastically reduces EMI, and eliminates the need for a separate large power source to drive the required firing current. The key to incorporating the ASIC into the ordnance device is size, and the slave ASIC circuit is small. PacSci EMC has built ordnance devices incorporating the SEA ASIC on all the common initiator platforms, including TFB, EFI, SCB, resistorized detonators and bridge wire.
This system inherently affords a huge savings in weight, power and wire complexity over the more traditional dedicated ordnance batteries and individually wired devices. Compatible with existing avionics systems, SEA Technology architecture can provide a variety of electrical signals and pressure outputs, enabling the system integrator to incorporate very robust diagnostics and health monitoring features in retrofit and design update applications as well as new system design.