Vehicle Electronics & Architecture (VEA)


by Wayne Cantrell


Supporting Open Architecture is a key to most major automation and control suppliers. In every industry, there is a desire to make a unified control system architecture that can easily integrate control system equipment from multiple suppliers. Whether it is a Navy military application or an industrial application, the needs are almost identical. Some of the keys to providing this transparency among control systems are utilizing an open standard that can pull together communications from multiple suppliers. In this paper, SIEMENS will demonstrate the capabilities of utilizing an open standard, which is PROFINET. By adhering to the PROFINET standards, Open Architecture is achieved at many levels in a naval application. Open Architecture is intended to yield modular, interoperable systems that adhere to open standards with published interfaces. As will be demonstrated by this paper, PROFINET provides these capabilities and more. By implementing PROFINET as the infrastructure for OA, the military community will see significant increases in its opportunities for innovation and competition by providing an architecture to bring disparate systems from multiple vendors together under a common platform. There will also be the ability to reuse system components, so that reengineering is not always required for every system. In addition, PROFINET will facilitate rapid technology insertion, by allowing for the best product to be used for a particular application. PROFINET also helps to reduce maintenance constraints by providing for increased diagnostics. Because of the need for OA to deliver increased war fighting capabilities in a shorter time at reduced cost, utilizing PROFINET will pull information from multiple systems together more quickly than past systems. Because of the modular concepts, PROFINET will allow for continuous innovative design.