IMMC: Integrated Mission Management Computer

IMMC: Integrated Mission Management Computer

Northrop Grumman’s High Altitude, Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) continue to establish new historic benchmarks. On May 22, 2001, an aviation milestone was set when the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS reached the 1,000 flight hour mark. On June 5, 2006, Northrop Grumman made history with Global Hawk by setting a record of 10,000 flight hours. By the end of April 2015, the UAS had surpassed 150,000 flight hours, seventy-five percent of which were in combat/operational sorties. 

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions has supplied Northrop Grumman with the dual Integrated Mission Management Computer (IMMC) computers that are used as redundant flight control processors aboard the Global Hawk since the inception of the program in 2000. 

Today, Curtiss-Wright also provides critical onboard flight systems for Northrop Grumman’s next-generation MQ-4C Triton, a UAS designed and built to meet the U.S. Navy’s maritime surveillance needs. 

To support the Triton aircraft’s flight controls requirements, Curtiss-Wright developed the latest variant of the IMMC. Through our expertise in designing SWaP-optimized systems, Curtiss-Wright redesigned the box with an alternate mounting technique, which resulted in significant improvements in thermal performance, system reliability, and overall system performance.

As an experienced supplier of Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) subsystems for UASs, Curtiss-Wright has amassed unique insight into the challenges and best practices for developing optimal subsystem solutions, both for unmanned aircraft and the ground stations that support them. For HALE platforms, SWaP is a key design consideration; weight and power are usually the most critical. 

The successful execution of the Triton IMMC is the result of collaborative and innovative efforts between Northrop Grumman’s and Curtiss-Wright’s engineering teams. Close communication between the COTS vendor and the system integrator plays a significant role in delivering optimized UAS solutions. Curtiss-Wright’s rugged and deployed systems serve as scalable and flexible solutions, ranging in size and power, for use on-board unmanned aircraft, such as the Global Hawk and Triton. 

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