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  • Radical productivity gains in systems integration and test
  • Extremely rapid test tool development
  • View, edit and send messages in a human-readable format
  • Log incoming and outgoing messages
  • Create sequences of outgoing messages you can play, pause and stop
  • Write MiCL scripts to customize your emulation

Electronic Warfare

Imagine we are part of an engineering team that must develop a Chaff/Flare Dispenser (CFD) for the F-22 jet fighter.  The CFD must dispense either Chaff or Flare upon receiving a “Dispense” message.  If a radar-guided missile is launched at the aircraft, the CFD must dispense chaff to create a fake radar image.  If a heat-seeking missile is launched, the CFD must dispense Flare to guide the missile away from the heat exhaust of the aircraft’s engines.

Now imagine another team, perhaps from another company, who must develop a Missile Warning Systems (MWS) for the F-22.  The MWS must sense the missile in the air, perhaps from the light from its exhaust plume, or from the characteristics of its radar signature.  Upon sensing a missile, the MWS must immediately send a Dispense message to our CFD.

As we develop the CFD, we run into a test issue.  There’s no MWS to stimulate our CFD with an incoming Dispense message, since the MWS is undergoing parallel development.  So how do we know the system will in fact dispense chaff or flare upon command?  We need to develop a MWS emulator – a desktop application that will transmit the dispense message to the CFD upon user command.

Note that the engineering hours dedicated to developing a MWS Emulator are significant.  Here are some common emulator development tasks:
  • A GUI to display and enter message data
  • Open a communications port (using a socket or device driver) and manage it’s configuration
  • Encode and decode message data to and from a human-readable to it’s binary over-the-wire format
  • Software unit and integration testing
In contrast, with the Mimik™ Application Suite, we can collapse all the software programming time required for these features into the mere clerical act of creating the CFD/MWS Interface Control Document (ICD), using the suite’s ICD Editor.  Upon creation of the ICD, we load it into Mimic, and immediately have a MWS emulator that implements all the above features, with zero software development.  This collapses weeks or months of software development effort into hours.

But the Mimik™ advantage does not stop there.  We also get many other features for free once we develop the ICD.  These include:
  • Logging of any or all incoming and outgoing messages
  • Playing, pausing and stopping sequences of outgoing messages
  • Storing pre-defined outgoing messages so the user can bring them up and send them quickly
  • MiCL scripting.  MiCL is a simple scripting language that enables us to control the messaging behavior of our emulation.  For example, a MiCL script can control the conditions when a Dispense message is transmitted to the CFD.
  • Simultaneous viewing of human-readable and binary (hex) message data
  • Automatically setting message data to random or default values upon user command
  • Many others…
Note that the other team developing the MWS can use the same ICD we created in order to emulate our CFD.  In this manner, separate teams can agree to create their ICDs using the ICD Editor, and are guaranteed to be able to automatically generate test applications that implement the correct message formats.

Note that this is a grossly oversimplified example of an Electronic Warfare system.  An ICD will typically define many more messages than the single Dispense message we talked about in this example.