Sabtech, an established leader in the design, manufacture and support of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and tactical data communications solutions for C5ISR systems, develops methods to convert legacy data links to Ethernet LANs.

In the third quarter of 2013, Sabtech is releasing the second generation of its PowerNet line of products. This line features conversion to/from Ethernet for the following data links:

  • naval tactical data system (NTDS) with either parallel or serial connections
  • airborne tactical data system (ATDS)
  • MIL-STD-1553 airborne data link.

Sabtech’s PowerNet can be used in two main configurations:

  • as an Ethernet gateway for legacy data links, enabling real-time ATDS/NTDS data to be sent to systems that are not directly connected to ATDS/NTDS I/O channels
  • as an Ethernet bridge, where legacy data links are transparently extended over long distances using two end-to-end PowerNet servers over an Ethernet LAN connection.

In operation as a bridge, PowerNet servers convert the ATDS/NTDS channel protocol into Ethernet packets, which are transmitted and converted back to ATDS/NTDS at the other end. Designed with redundant capability, the PowerNet bridge system is equipped with dual Ethernet ports to significantly increase reliability.

When configured to operate in dual port mode, if one interface or network path is not available, operation continues without delay or interruption on the surviving path. Linking with existing equipment, PowerNet enhances investment in legacy and newer technologies by reducing lifecycle costs and increasing capability. Cable bulk and weight are also reduced.

For ease of integration, several form factors are available, including a 6U VME board, a 19in rackmount system or an enclosed ruggedised version. PowerNet is also available as a stand-alone system designed to run customised real-time user applications.