Mission computers do a lot of work on military aircraft.
Using data from sensors, they create a clear picture of the battlefield, and control combat and weapons systems. The problem is they were purpose-built to perform a specific set of functions, using proprietary software, firmware and hardware. And that makes them difficult and costly to upgrade and adapt to changing mission needs and evolving threats.
Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, has solved that problem by developing a platform-agnostic mission computer that can be used on any aircraft, fixed, rotary, unmanned, or wide-body wing. It’s called Common Open Secure Mission Computer, or COSMC, pronounced “cosmic.”
“It’s purposely designed and engineered to not be reliant on any physical instances of software or hardware,” said John Stephens, RI&S product line manager for secure mission processing. “It’s scalable in size, it’s scalable in performance, and it’s scalable in operating system and hardware construction. To really fit whatever that need is.”
Because COSMC, at its core, is a computing platform, it can host and perform mission management, weapons stores, video display and switching, sensor processing, and/or data fusion functions for sea-, land- and air-based platforms.
“COSMC has multiple high-level functions depending on the platform and the mission’s capability,” said Michelle Moholt, the RI&S COSMC architect for secure mission processing. “So, for instance, if you’re using COSMC as an airborne mission computer, it would serve as the brains of the entire aircraft, whether that’s displaying weapons control or controlling sensor aperture to conducting electronic warfare or viewing the radar. It’s the hub of the plane or platform.”
The COSMC team has demonstrated the technology to the U.S. Air Force, and RI&S is looking to provide this open computing environment to multiple Army, Navy, and Air Force platforms.
COSMC is more than just compatible with different platforms. It can fit pretty much anywhere. The system is “scalable and modular, so that it can be designed into different configurations.