COSA® Design Examples

NAI's COSA® technology has helped engineers solve challenging design issues by delivering more intelligence, greater I/O density, and more functionality in a smaller footprint— with little or no NRE.

  • Smarter systems

  • Lower power

  • Less time

  • Less weight

  • Less program risk

  • No NRE

Below are NAI design wins detailing how COSA technology has enabled faster system integration in less time, smaller space, and at a lower cost.

NAI Airborne Systems Global Hawk

Global Hawk UAS

NAI Airborne Systems Apache

Apache (AH-64D)

NIU1A - Airborne System

NAI's complete solution for the airborne system was comprised of multiple NIU1A's (Nano Interface Units) configured with a variety of I/O functions. The functions included:

  • Serial, CANBus, 1553, A/D, RTD and discrete

  • 28 VDC input

  • Dual Gig-E ports

A key military integrator needed additional discrete I/O capability quickly for an existing airborne system— with minimal space to do so. Adding capability to the existing qualified chassis was not a cost-effective solution.

The integrator connected NAI’s small compact NIU1A subsystem to the existing Ethernet network to provide full, multichannel I/O capability. The versatile NIU1A allows for different I/O function modules to be used, depending on payload requirements. The low-cost, SWaP-optimized NIU1A interfaced directly with the existing system, required minimal processor management, and fit easily into a space-constrained environment with a limited power budget.

NAI provides a No-Cost Software Support Kit (SSK) which greatly reduces application software development time. For example, in just four weeks we delivered a fully tested, NIU1A-DT1 discrete I/O unit. Using the SSK Library calls, application software is easily created and avoids the pitfalls of software driver integration issues. The NIU1A was quickly installed in the system - and without costly NRE.

NAI Airborne Systems Chinook

Chinook (CH-47)

NAI Airborne Systems Black Hawk

Black Hawk (UH-60M)

Improved Data Modem (IDM OSA) - Airborne System

NAI’s complete solution for the IDM OSA was comprised of the following products:

  • COTS 3U cPCI rugged, conduction-cooled SBC (75SBC4)

  • Multifunction I/O serial interface and Gig-E layer 2+ switch boards (75C575D4)

  • High efficiency power supply (55MQ2)

  • Power conditioning unit (44LS1)

  • Four 3U cPCI boards

The 3U cPCI boards were configured with a variety of functions. The functions included:

  • One 3U cPCI SBC - Freescale Quad Core P2041 QorIQ 1.2 GHz processor with MIL-STD-1553-to-Ethernet communications

  • Four CNR communications with discrete I/O ports

  • Four RS-232/422/485/423 programmable asynchronous serial communication ports

  • Eight TTL/GPIO discrete channels

The Improved Data Modem (IDM) is the common solution for digitizing Army Aviation. It operates as an internet controller and gateway to the Tactical Internet and Fire Support Internet for Army aircraft. With interfaces supporting a six-channel transmit/receive terminal, the IDM provides radio connectivity to the ARC-201D/231, ARC-186, ARC-164, and the Blue Force Tracker's MT-2011 and AVX-06/203 Transceivers. IDM provides a flexible, software-driven, digital messaging system that is interoperable with existing Army and Joint forces battlefield operating systems. The IDM is currently utilized by the Apache (AH-64D), Chinook (CH-47F), and Black Hawk (UH-60M) Army helicopter platforms.

Strict IDM requirements for 4-hour cold soak, turn-on operation at -54° C, and 4-hour continuous operation at 71° C at 20,000 feet were met. Moreover, strict power consumption of less than 75W input power as well as specific flight and gunfire vibration profiles had to be achieved.  Stringent embedded operational/environmental specifications were met using standard NAI 3U cPCI COTS products and production methods, such as BGA component underfill to support the extreme vibration levels. NAI utilized in-house SMT, underfill, conformal coat, 5D X-RAY, and Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) capability for all Printed Circuit-Card Assemblies.

NAI Airborne Systems AC-130


AC-130 - Airborne System

NAI's complete solution for the AC-130 involved supplying each ECU and LWCP box with the following products:

  • 3U cPCI I/O boards (75DP3, 75C3)

  • Power supplies (55LQ2)

The 3U cPCI boards were configured with a variety of functions. The functions included:

  • A/D, D/A, Synchro/LVDT Measurement, MIL-STD-1553, RS422 functions

  • Highly programmable discrete I/O

  • Analog Devices Blackfin® SBC

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.”

NAI Land Systems Fire Control

Fire Control

Fire Control - Land System

NAI's complete solution for the Fire Control System consisted of two 3U cPCI boards in a rugged SIU33 chassis. The 3U cPCI boards were configured with a variety of functions. The functions included:

  • 12 channels isolated discrete

  • Four synchro signals

  • One channel AC reference source

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.

NAI Sea Systems LCAC-SSC


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

LCAC-SSC - Sea System

NAI's complete solution for the Data Acquisition and Control System was comprised of six SUI35 chasses configured with 3U cPCI 75G5 boards. Each board was configured with a variety of functions. The functions included:

  • 24 channels discrete I/O, 0-60 VDC input/output, max out 500 mA - 2 A, Source/Sink (out)

  • 12 channels D/A, ± 10 V, 25 mA per channel, current or voltage control

  • 16 channels A/D, ± 10 V, multiplexed, 500 kHz Agg / 8 Ch, SAR

  • 16 channels Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD), 2, 3, or 4 wire, 16-bit res, 16.7 Hz/Ch

  • Eight channels serial, RS-232/422/423 (MIL-STD-188C)/485, non-isolated

  • Power supplies

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 SIU35 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.

NAI Sea Systems ACUTV

ACUTV - Unmanned Sub

Rugged System SIU6 - Sea System

NAI's complete solution for the unmanned amphibious assault ship consisted of two 6U VME boards (64C3 & 64E3) in an SIU6 chassis. The boards were configured with a variety of I/O functions. The functions included:

  • Four CANBus channels

  • Ten ±1.25 to ±10 V A/D channels

  • Ten 4 to 25 mA A/D channels

  • Ten ±10 VDC D/A channels up to 20 mA/channels

  • Eight RTD channels

  • 48 0-60 VDC programmable discrete I/O

  • Four RS-232/422/485 programmable serial channels

  • Eight ProfiBus channels, 125 slaves

  • Two Gig-E ports

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.